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Samuel Hawley Adams 

Chaplain, 1898-1915 


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PURSUANT to a continuing and growing desire on the 
part of the Board of Trustees of the Clifton Springs Sani- 
tarium, and a host of its friends, that the biography of Dr. 
Foster, the founder of the Sanitarium, be written and pub- 
lished, the Executive Committee of the Board, upon the re- 
quest of Superintendent Malcolm S. Woodbury, in February 
1919, asked Rev. Samuel H. Adams, D.D., to do the literary 
part of such work, they to assume the responsibility of its 
publication in book form. This book is now completed. 

The selection of Dr. Adams for this work was most wise 
because of his long and continuous acquaintance with Dr. 
Foster; he having known him from 1880 to the time of his 
death in 1901, and because of his intimate acquaintance with 
the Sanitarium as chaplain, having served in this capacity 
from 1898 to 1915. 

But for the decease of Dr. Woodbury, which occurred on 

January 6th, 1921, this "foreword" would have been penned 

by him. It was his hope and expectation that this book be 

commonly read by the patrons of the Sanitarium in order 

that Dr. Foster might be known to all such; for to know him 

is to understand the why and the wherefore of the Clifton 

Springs Sanitarium. May this hope and expectation be fully 


Hubert Schoonmaker, M.D., 

A cling Superintendent. 

Clifton Springs, N. Y. 
Jan. 15, 1921. 



IN the city of Paris, adjoining the Hotel des In- 
valides, is a small boulevard, at one end of which 
is a chapel and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte; 
at the other end is a statue of Louis Pasteur, a 
French Scientist, a pioneer in bacteriological inves- 
tigation, whose discoveries have done so much to 
alleviate physical sufferings. That statue repre- 
sents him seated, while about and beneath him are 
grouped many forms of life, — men, women, and chil- 
dren, cattle, dogs, chickens and rabbits, the ex- 
pression on their faces being that of quietness and 
peace. At one end of the boulevard is war, with 
its battle flags; at the other end is peace, with its 
errand of blessing. 

Both Napoleon and Pasteur were fighters, the 
one for self-aggrandizement, the other to conquer 
disease. Which was the greater? A few years ago 
the question was submitted to a popular vote in 
France, who among her illustrious citizens was 
most entitled to enduring fame. The vote was sig- 
nificant, for while many were accorded recognition 
Louis Pasteur received a large majority. It was a 
wonderful tribute to a life devoted to physical 

6 dr. Foster's life and aims 

welfare. Our Savior said, "He who would be chief est 
among you, let him be servant of all." The names 
that posterity delights to honor are those who have 
lived not for themselves but for others; who, de- 
voting themselves to some cause or truth in a mas- 
terful way without stint or interruption, have left 
behind them some enduring monument of their 

Such a man was Henry Foster, the founder of 
the Sanitarium at Clifton Springs, N. Y. For 50 
years he toiled with unstinted zeal, in behalf of the 
thousands of invalids who came to his place of 
healing. He commanded their love and devotion, 
and he saw the Institution grow from very humble 
beginnings to its present proportions. In 1881, he 
conveyed by Deed of Trust this property which 
was exclusively his own, to a Board of Trustees 
who should continue the work as he had planned it. 
The semi-centennial in the history of the institu- 
tion was fittingly observed Sept. 13th, 1900. A 
committee waited upon him then to gain his con- 
sent to the writing of his biography, but they met 
his flat refusal as he said, "Give God the glory, but 
do not parade the humble instrumentality." Fol- 
lowing his death, which occurred a few months later, 
a similar request was presented to his widow, who 
felt that she could not consistently grant what he 
had refused. 

The custom of an annual commemorative service, 
to be known as "Founder's Day" was established 
in the Sanitarium in 1902, and has been maintained 


each following year. As both the birth and burial 
of Dr. Foster occurred Jan. 18th, it was decided 
that this service should be held on the Sabbath 
evening nearest that date. 

Each year the chapel has been crowded with an 
attentive audience to listen to an address by some 
chosen speaker. It fell to my lot to speak in 1902 
and again in 1919. With the latter invitation was 
a request from Dr. Woodbury, the Superintendent 
of the Sanitarium, that inasmuch as I had known 
Dr. Foster so long and intimately I should give a 
pen picture of the real man, his personal traits, 
some historical sketches of his life, and of the lead- 
ing motives actuating his career. 

The address was delivered and published, and 
soon afterward, the Trustees of the Sanitarium 
asked me to write a full biography for them to 
publish in book form. They felt that the time had 
fully arrived for this to be done, for soon those who 
knew him would be no longer living. It was already 
18 years since his death, 98 years since his birth, 
and 69 years since the founding of the Sanitarium. 
As in the "Deed of Trust," he had required the 
trustees to administer in full harmony with his 
plans and wishes, and all employment was a sacred 
trust, it seemed necessary that the coming genera- 
tions of trustees, physicians, chaplains, nurses, em- 
ployees and guests should be made familiar with 
Dr. Foster's life and aims. It was felt too, that 
such a presentation would be prized by all who 
knew him, while the strength and nobility of his 


character would inspire the general reader with 
loftier ideals and holier purposes. I accepted the 
opportunity, believing that if Dr. Foster were 
living, he would under present conditions fully con- 
cur, but I have imposed upon myself the task, not 
an easy one, of avoiding eulogy, and of simply 
giving a portraiture. 

Dr. Foster was blessed with a choice New 
England ancestry, reaching back along all ancestral 
lines in the states of Vermont, New Hampshire, 
Massachusetts and Connecticut, to about the 
middle of the 17th century. His father, Henry 
Foster, was a manufacturer of linseed oil at Nor- 
wich, Vt. The grandfather bore the college degree 
of A. B., and was a soldier in the French and Indian 
war. The earliest Foster in the United States was 
the Hon. Samuel Foster, born in England, 1619. 
He was married in Dedham, Mass., in 1647, and 
moved to Chelmsford, Mass., where his children, 
grand-children and great grand-children were born. 
He was one of the leading men of the town, a 
deacon of the church during his lifetime, and a 
representative in the Great and General Court of 
1679. Henry's mother, Polly Hubbard, was the 
daughter of Abner Hubbard, who, like his brother, 
was one of the pioneer settlers of Windham Co., Vt. 
Her kin were people of character and prominence. 
Her father and his five brothers were soldiers in 
the Revolutionary War, her father serving seven 
years, and for the last three years as Sergeant- 
Major. Her grandfather, George Hubbard, was a 


lieutenant in the British army, with commission 
dated May 29th, 1756. Her great grandfather, 
George Hubbard, was a lieutenant in the old 
Colonial war, with commission dated Oct. 25th, 

Henry Foster's mother was linked by kinship to 
Noah Porter, President of Yale College. Her 
brother Abner Hubbard of Rochester, N. Y., re- 
received the military commission of Brigadier 
General, and was the Commander of the New York 
State Guards. She was born in 1785 and her hus- 
band in 1779, so that when Henry was born at 
Norwich, Vt., Jan. 18th, 1821, his father was forty- 
one years of age, and his mother thirty-five. There 
were seven children in the parental home, the 
youngest of whom was accidentally killed when a 
lad of fourteen years. The other six children, of 
whom Henry was the youngest, lived to advanced 
age. They were of sturdy stock. The father died 
at 80, the mother at 85, the four sons, Charles, 
Hubbard, William and Henry died respectively at 
S3, 90, 63 and 80, and the two daughters, Mrs. 
Mary Horner and Mrs. Martha Dodge at 89 and 88. 

Norwich, Vt., where Henry was born, was in 
Windham Co., Vt., a village lying on the west 
shore of the Connecticut River, dividing Vermont 
from New Hampshire. The scenery was beautiful, 
and from 1819 to 1867 it was the seat of an impor- 
tant military school. 

Henry and his brothers and sisters had a normal 
physical and mental development, and they were 


brought up after the old fashioned New England 
method, with plenty of parental oversight and con- 
trol. They were accustomed to toil and close econ- 
omy. The father, though a man of parts and in- 
dustry, was never thrifty, and an unfortunate part- 
nership in the oil business robbed him of all his 

As an illustration of the home government Dr. 
Foster told this to a group of his Sanitarium guests. 
His father had forbidden his going with certain 
bad boys, but one day after school the temptation 
was strong, and he went with them to the woods. 
When Henry reached home, his father said, "Didn't 
I tell you not to go with those boys?" "But," 
said Henry, "I didn't think there would be any 
harm in going with them just once." "Per- 
haps," said the father, "there would be no harm if 
I spanked you for this just once." The Doctor said 
he could feel the sting even then of the spanking 
he got, and he laughed as he told it. He said his 
father was very strict in the government of the 
children. Henry learned obedience in his boyhood, 
and perhaps that is why obedience became such a 
big word in his after life, whether as applied to the 
obedience he required in the management of the 
Sanitarium, or to his well known obedience to what 
he considered the will of God. 

The aged mother used to tell the Sanitarium 
guests that when Henry played as a boy, he played 
with all his might. We shall find him in later life, 
hunting and fishing on the St. John's River in 


Florida, a sure shot with his rifle and an expert 
angler. He must have had some training for that 
in his boyhood, and we can well imagine he had 
many a good hour with gun and rod on the beauti- 
ful Connecticut River. He was a typical full sized 
frolicsome boy. One day when the parents were 
away from home, he and his brother William plan- 
ned some fun. They took a huge grindstone, rolled 
it up a steep hill, designing it to go down at a 
furious rate through the lane and into the road. 
It started at good speed, but turned in its course, 
crashed through a fence, and landed in a mill pond. 
Then came the weary hours of tug and toil to get 
it out, and back into place. 

All the Foster family were Methodists, save Dr. 
Hubbard, who became a member of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. When Henry joined the church 
at 10 years of age, his sister reproved him for being 
so officious in the revival meeting, but he said, 
"Martha, do you think I have so much religion that 
I do not need more? The best way to get it is by 
helping others." Surely that was a prophecy of his 
after life. 

In 1835, the family moved on to a farm near 
Rochester, N. Y. Charles, the eldest brother, was 
already married, and living at Rochester near his 
uncle, Brigadier General Abner Hubbard. The 
straitened circumstances of the parents required 
assistance from their children. Henry never entered 
college, but the marriage of his sister, Mary, to Dr. 
Horner, who was a practicing physician at Milan, 



Ohio, gave him an opportunity to live in their 
home and attend the Milan Normal School. In the 
school, he bore off the first prize for scholarship. 
While there, he studied medicine under his brother, 
Dr. Hubbard Foster, and his brother-in-law, Dr. 
Horner, who were partners in medical practice. 
They had formed an intimate acquaintance in 
Rochester, and entered and graduated together at 
a Medical College in Cincinnati. Later, Henry 
assisted Dr. Hubbard Foster in a Water Cure at 
Lowell, Mass., and soon afterward entered the 
Medical College at Cleveland, Ohio, an allopathic 
institution, and a department of the Western Re- 
serve University, and was graduated therefrom in 
February, 1848, receiving the title of Doctor of 



AFTER Dr. Foster's graduation, he had charge 
of the medical department of the New 
Graefenberg Water Cure, located five miles south 
ofUtica, N. Y., R. Holland, M. D., being owner 
and proprietor. Dr. Foster's work involved not 
only the medical care of the patients, but also 
considerable nursing, and often the giving of 
baths, for all of which he was to receive fifty 
cents per week for each patient. His hours 
were long, and his sleep very much broken but he 
had an enthusiastic temperament which laughed 
at toil and long hours. His devotion to the 
interests of the patients, combined with his 
acknowledged medical skill and hearty social man- 
ner, greatly endeared him to all. He studied Water 
Cure treatment as never before, noting with care- 
ful precision, its results. He became editor of a 
Medical Journal called 'The New Graefenberg 
Reporter" — and a copy of the title page will be 
found on the following page. 

Soon, in place of only one contributor, he had 
seven, and he had the advertisements of numerous 
other Water Cures, New Lebanon Springs, Coopers- 


wra-CM mora. 






HENRY FOSTER, M. D., Editor. 

E. A.. KITTREDGE, M. D., Corresponding Editor. 


N. BEDORTHA,M. D New Lebanon Water-Cure. 

S. O. GLEASON, M D., Glen-haven Water-Core. 

C. H. MEEKER, M. D South Orakge Water-Cure. 

O V. THAYER, M. D., Cooperstow.v Water-Cure. 

P. H. HAYES, M. D., Cuba Water-Cure. 


AUGUST, 1849. 

No. 8. 

Issued Monthly, at One Dollar a Year, always in Advance. 






town, Boston, Glen Haven situated at the head of 
Skaneateles Lake; Cuba, in Allegheny County, 
Bethesda Water Cure in Tioga Co., and others. 
He came rapidly into the limelight, and ere long 
received three calls to become the head of a Water 
Cure establishment; one from Western New York, 
one from Connecticut, and one from Cincinnati 
each of which he declined, for reasons which will 
appear later. 

We now come to the crisis in his career, and be- 
fore unfolding it, we will glance briefly at the man 
and the times. Henry Foster was a born physician. 
He had received as good medical training as the 
times then afforded. The Medical College from 
which he graduated bore high rank, and, before 
entering it, he had studied medicine under his 
brother. Dr. Hubbard Foster, and his brother-in- 
law, Dr. Horner. He had been employed a long 
time in a drug store where he learend the principles 
and practice of pharmacy. He had had some ex- 
perience in Medical practice at Lowell, Mass. He 
was now 27 years of age. He was mentally 
gifted, being a close reasoner, a keen, quick ob- 
server, and having a large supply of good common 
sense. He never ran off into fads or vagaries, but 
he did have an institutional and almost clairvoyant 
power to interpret the patients' condition. 

Without ever boasting — for he was no braggart, 
and never assumed a mysterious air of wisdom — 
he gained and held the absolute confidence of all 
his patients. His industry was untiring. He had a 


very kind and sympathetic nature, and he was 
deeply religious. His physical presence was com- 
manding. He was tall, well proportioned and mus- 
cular, with a kind, strong face, a positive mouth, 
and greyish blue eyes, which were full of expression. 
Such was the man. 

The times in the medical world were full of un- 
rest and change. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder 
of the system of Homeopathy, died in Paris in 1843. 
His published writings, covering a period of fifty 
years, had attracted wide attention, and won quite 
an army of followers. Hydrotherapy came into ex- 
tensive use in the treatment of disease in the early 
half of the 19th century, largely through the in- 
fluence of Vincent Priessnitz, who established a 
noted Water Cure at Graefenberg, Silesia, in 1839, 
and from which the Institution at New Graefenberg 
was modeled. Both these systems of medical prac- 
tice were fairly launched in the United States when 
Henry Foster was a medical student at Cleveland. 
Water Cures were springing up everywhere from 
1840 to 1860. 

The Allopathic school of medicine held to the 
humoral theory of disease. Hippocrates had taught 
that the human body contained humors, namely, 
blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile. The 
germ theory of disease came later, but at this time 
approved practice consisted of bleeding, purging, 
blistering, setons, sweatings, and the like, along 
with the copious use of most powerful drugs. One 
is reminded of College days when translating from 


the French Gil Bias' story of Dr. Sangrado, who 
administered to all his patients purgatives and 
bleeding, no matter what the ailment might be. 
Medical practice was largely empirical, and diag- 
nosis was largely guess work. Fortunately, the 
practice of medicine has made phenomenal strides 
in the past seventy years, and the allopathy then 
is not the allopathy of today. 

There came a loud call for a more natural and 
progressive medical practice — for a physiological 
therapy and, in addition to drugs, for the generous 
use of external means to stimulate normal vital 
functions. The reaction began in Europe, and 
reached here, and Dr. Foster was in that reaction. 
His brother Dr. Hubbard Foster, had a like exper- 
ience. Although he and his brother-in-law were 
graduated from an allopathic medical college in 
Cincinnati, Dr. Hubbard became an avowed and 
pronounced homeopathist, while Dr. Horner re- 
mained allopathic through life. Dr. Foster was 
more independent, sailing under no flag, and calling 
himself by no name. He was in the best sense of 
the word Eclectic. He made a close study of both 
hydrotherapy and homeopathy and noted their 
results. In Water Cure or Sanitarium practice, and 
that was about all the practice he had — he dealt 
more with feeble folk and chronic cases, for whom 
the old allopathy with its heroic measures and doses 
was ill-suited, so that naturally he drifted away 
from that practice. His intimate association with 
his brother, Dr. Hubbard, may have had its con- 


tributing influence, especially at this time of re- 
action. It was at the change from the "Four 
Humors" to the modern theories of disease that 
Dr. Foster appeared in the medical arena. 

A wide and attractive field opened up to him 
when he received those three very flattering invita- 
tions to become the head of a Water Cure establish- 
ment. Why did he decline them, and instead there- 
of, uninvited, unassisted, alone, unwelcomed, with 
no capital but his savings aggregating $1000, come 
to Clifton Springs to create from the very founda- 
tion, and to develop an institution unlike any other 
in the land or in the world? Here we come to the 
heart of his inner life, for in deciding to do this, he 
went out as the patriarch Abraham did in answer 
to the call of God. Although an active member of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church since he was ten 
years of age, a great spiritual change now came over 
him; a real baptism of the Holy Spirit and of power, 
a vision like Paul's when he was caught up into 
Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, a call and 
a commission like that of the prophet Jeremiah, or 
of Isaiah in the temple — an imperative call when 
his whole soul was filled and thrilled with a ready 
response, "Here am I Lord"; when every thought, 
ambition, power and plan were harnessed to the 
Divine. In one of the Doctor's talks in later years 
before his guests, referring to this experience, he 
said, "One night, about 2 o'clock in the morning, 
the heavens opened, and the glory of God descended 
upon me, filling the room, and filling my whole 


being. When I came to myself, I was a changed 
man, with other principles, ambitions, and aspira- 
tions in my heart. My soul asked, "Lord, what 
wilt Thou have me to do?" In his address at the 
dedication of the new Chapel in 1896, Dr. Foster 
speaking of the beginnings of the Sanitarium and 
of this pentecostal baptism said: "I had started out 
with the determination to succeed in business and 
make a position for myself. I thought I had some 
plans which would accomplish this purpose. I wish 
to say right here, that I was taken out of all these 
things, and, in a way marvelous to me, for I believe 
thoroughly that God has a plan for his children, a 
work for them to do, and he will, if they are honest, 
put them into that particular work, whatever it may 
be, and it will be a work that will do good — do them 
good and do the world good. I believe thoroughly 
that He planned this institution long before I lived; 
and as His "eye runs to and fro over all the earth 
to make Himself strong towards him who is of a 
right heart and mind, so He finally chose me, and 
some others with me, to develop what you now see. 
We have been working together on this line. I did 
not believe in it at first, but God took a way to make 
me believe, just as He knows how to do, so I was 
brought under conviction of sin on this very line of 
selfish ambition and self-seeking." 

"I had conceived the idea of a whole committal 
to God of body, and soul, and spirit. I was brought 
under conviction on that very point, and began to 
study the bible, and the more I looked into it, and 


listened to that voice, the more utterly I abhorred 
myself. The Lord kept the pressure there week 
after week. I attended to my patients during the 
day, and in the night prayed and studied God's 
word and this went on until it showed itself in my 
physical condition. My patients became alarmed. 
They thought I was overworked, and becoming un- 
balanced in mind and body; they held a council 
and passed resolutions, and chose a committee, 
which waited upon me and said if I would go away 
and stay at least two weeks and rest, they would 
stay in the institution and go on just the same as 
though I was with them. I knew what the matter 
was; they did not. I told them to wait a little, and 
If I did not feel better, I would go away; and I re- 
newed with more earnestness my petition, asking 
for a clean heart, for an entire subjection to God's 
will, for the Holy Spirit to come in and take up His 
abode in my heart and live in me, and use me just 
as He saw fit, and I would obey Him night and day 
from that time forward. About two o'clock in the 
morning, as I now remember — and it is as distinct 
to me as my fingers — I was brought to a place where 
it seemed to me I should die. There was no strength 
left in me. Then I was surrendered to God; the 
room was filled with the Spirit, and there came 
down to my consciousness the presence of the Holy 
Ghost which rested upon me, and took possession 
of me, and finally uplifted me, making of me a 
different man, purposes different, desires different, 
actions changed, all changed. As the result of that 


experience a revival broke out in the house, and 
then in the village, and some thirty were converted. 
That was at New Graefenberg before I came here. 

"After this, God revealed to me His will, and 
there was brought before me then a vision, mental 
and spiritual, and not to the natural eye, something 
of God's will concerning my future course. 1 saw 
distinctly before me, as I looked at the scene, men 
and women coming and going, from all parts of the 
world, receiving blessings and going home, and 
others coming, receiving and going, and that was 
put before me as the character of the institution 
that I must build for God. 

"Most people, if I said these things to them, 
would have said at once it was a visionary thing 
altogether; not any truth in it, but wholly imagina- 
tion. But I tell you that the Spirit of the living 
God had so come into my being that I felt the assur- 
ance, and knew that it was of God, and therefore, 
I could say nothing but: 'Yes Lord, I will; I will 
take up that work'." 

Among the Doctor's patients at New Graefen- 
berg, was a Mrs. E. V. Robbins, of Chicago, and 
later of San Francisco. She came at intervals to 
Clifton Springs It was my good fortune to become 
well acquainted with her in 1880 and '81. In a letter 
she wrote to Mrs. Foster from San Francisco in 
1912 she says, "New Graefenberg stands out in my 
memory as a mile stone in my life. Dr. Foster was 
my physician. He had no cares but of his patients, 
to save their bodies and their souls. I had previously 


had desires to be a Christian, but did not make 
the surrender until through the pleadings and 
prayers of Dr. Foster. If our churches were now 
composed of such Christians, so earnest, so gifted, 
so beautiful in character, how the Christian Church 
would grow." 

Wonderful as was Dr. Foster's religious exper- 
ience at this time, the evolution and development 
of his medical life as a physician was no less remark- 
able. He began as a loyal, intelligent, school 
trained allopath, then he became a hydropathic 
practitioner, then he saw in homeopathy special 
adaptation to chronic cases, then he awoke to the 
large realm of mental therapy. We listen to his 
own words: "I had already found out that we must 
minister to the mental and spiritual nature as well 
as to the physical, if we would do the largest 
amount of good to the sick. With that sort of in- 
vestigation, there came upon me a pressure, which 
after a while was like fire shut up in my bones. I 
began to look at the question still more carefully. 
I began to pray for guidance, and to gather up all 
the literature bearing on the subject that could be 
found, and to study it with an honest heart. The 
more I studied, the more this matter grew and en- 
larged. One thing became certain in my mind, that 
if we would do the largest amount of good, we must 
give to the elements in man's being the same order 
in importance that God gives, and he has always 
mentioned the soul first, and the body second. 
True, he has put the two together, but always 


towering above the interests of the body, are the 
interests of the soul, and that, too, even when we 
are searching for physical health. 

"I began to look through the word of God, and 
saw that Asa the King of Judah, made the same 
mistake that I had been making, when 'He sought 
not to the Lord but unto the physicians, and so 
slept with his fathers.' " In another place Dr. 
Foster tells us he found out in treating nervous 
diseases, that resort "to entertainments and funny 
things, while helpful in many cases, was positively 
harmful in other cases; and that the successful 
practitioner must go deeper, and establish, if pos- 
sible, in his patient, healthful spiritual conditions." 
Dr. Foster never let go of that thought, but with 
him it grew in importance. 

You may ask was Dr. Foster a "Faith Curist"? 
If by this you mean, did he belong to a school that 
discarded all medicines or remedial agencies, and 
enjoined this upon all sufferers, he was not. 

In an informal address made Oct. 4, 1892, he said : 

"Prayer is a force by which God governs this 
world, and that is the reason why He has com- 
manded us to pray always, and why he is waiting 
often until He has drawn out His children in an 
agony of prayer, days, weeks, months, before he 
answers. That prayer of faith becomes a force by 
which He administers health to poor mortals. 
Take this law and power of faith, and take the law 
of the influence of mind over the body, and put 
them together and see what you get. You get 


something there that will work; you get something 
there that, exercised in obedience to God's will, 
towers above all human strength, wisdom, plans and 
purposes, putting them all to naught, while God 
rises in the dignity and glory of His own power 
and grace, and bestows in answer to the prayer of 
the humble disciple, such answers as the world 
views with astonishment. It was just the study of 
these laws that settled the question with me, at 
once and forever. If I would do the largest amount 
of good, I must work in harmony with these laws; 
in harmony with God's appointment, will and ways 
and in obedience to Him. I cannot go to any per- 
son and say: 'You can of a surety be made well.' 
It is always with reference to God's will, in this, 
that, or the other way. God's ordinary way of 
healing is through medicines, through hygienic 
applications, through all well known remedies, 
His extraordinary mode is in direct answer to 
prayer. I have seen it over and over again. One 
is just as legitimate with Him as the other, but no 
mortal man can go and tell God that He must heal 
this person, or to be sure that this person will be 
healed merely through prayer, or healed at all. In 
seeking this blessing, we are simply subject to the 
will of God, for it is God who heals. That is the at- 
titude of the Christian. Our faith should be an- 
chored in Christ as our Healer, by whatever means 
He may select. 

"It was the acceptance of this truth that decided 


me to try and establish a house where these truths 
should be enforced." 

Dr. Foster would not open up a prayer healing 
shop for the public, but in individual cases which 
seemed to be spirit-led towards healing in answer 
to prayer, Doctor Foster inspired such with con- 
fidence, and several under his care were thus mar- 
velously healed, he attesting what they professed. 

In the Clifton Chapel collection of Hymns for 
use in public service, you will find in the preface 
these words from Dr. Foster's pen: "Aiming in our 
treatment of disease to use in a liberal spirit all 
known remedial agencies, and recognizing as we do 
the power of the mind over the body, and the 
salutary effects of a constant religious faith upon 
the sick, we hold it to be the first duty of the Insti- 
tution to seek to bring its patients under the power 
and influence of the word and worship of God as a 
means of restoring mind and body to health." These 
words though penned later, represent correctly 
Dr. Foster's attitude in 1849 in the treatment of 
disease. He would attack disease from all sides; 
he would accept anything of demonstrated efficiency, 
and he consistently held to that while he lived. 

Such teachings seventy years ago were, to the 
medical world generally, sheer nonsense. Succeed- 
ing decades have wrought marvelous changes in 
popular thought in this particular. Mental hygiene 
and mental therapy are recognized by the best physi- 
cians today, as well as the great therapeutic value 
of religious faith. The "Emmanuel Movement" 


at Boston, of which so much has been said with its 
slogan "Religion and Medicine", was anticipated 
by Henry Foster many decades before the "Emman- 
uel Movement" was born. Dr. Foster was a pioneer, 
making his own discoveries. "Allopathy", "Water 
Cure", "Homeopathy", "Mind Cure", "Faith Cure", 
were to him members of a group in the therapeutic 
family. He never shifted about, but incorporated 
and adopted, looking for the higher unity, treating 
each as a segment in the full circle. He was no 
theorist or faddist. He was open minded, broad 
gauged, expansive, but what saved him from being 
"all things by turns and nothing definite," was 
this: he was a downright pragmatist, testing out 
and proving the value of everything by results. 
That was best, which proved itself best; and that 
was true which proved itself true. In this way, his 
religion and his medical practice were sane and safe, 
because they travelled along the hard road of facts. 

Dr. Foster was a life long Methodist, not only by 
membership, but temperamentally; yet his social 
and religious intimacies were interdenominational. 
He put the Sanitarium which he founded, upon a 
stable interdenominational basis, and a majority 
of the Trustees who manage it today are chosen 
from six Protestant religious bodies. 

I am entering somewhat into detail in this chap- 
ter, for it is the center of Dr. Foster's life, and is the 
explanation of his career. Here we see his very soul, 
and the genesis of the institution he founded at 
Clifton Springs. Dr. Foster was always consistent 


with himself, and the history of the Clifton Springs 
Sanitarium during the half century of his manage- 
ment was but an expression and development of 
plans originating at New Graefenberg. Dr. Foster's 
religious and professional life came to be two 
streams flowing into one. His pentecostal baptism 
of the Holy Spirit must express itself in his work. 
He looked about and saw that existing Water Cures 
were selfish and secular in spirit. He felt that he 
could no longer serve such masters. The institution 
where he labored must be God's house, from foun- 
dation stone to cupola. He knew of no such spot. 
He must create it. He knew not where to go or how 
to create, but he believed God would lead him. He 
felt the call. It gripped him. He saw that his 
pentecost was not for its own sake, but was given 
to prepare him for such a work. He prayed, and 
light came. He had a vision of the institution God 
would give him, — just as definite a vision as Moses 
had of the Tabernacle in the Mount; and as Moses 
was to make all things according to the pattern 
showed him in the Mount, so God had in vision 
outlined the work he was to do, and he must fol- 
low the pattern. 

One thing more was put upon him, namely, that 
if he was to be God's man in his professional career 
he must make it possible for Christian workers, 
such as clergymen, teachers, and missionaries who 
are peculiarly liable to physical and nervous break- 
down, and whose salaries are small, to come to his 
institution and remain long enough for a cure. We 


listen again to his own words. 'The moment my 
entire consecration to God was settled, there came 
another thought by the Divine Spirit, and another 
scheme for me to adopt, and that was, the establish- 
ing of a Sanitarium where God should be honored, 
where reference should be made first of all to Him, 
and one that should take cognizance of the necessi- 
ties of God's own children. That grew for a few 
weeks in my mind, and after a while I could see 
nothing else. It was brought about in this way. 
A clergyman came to our Water Cure at New 
Graefenberg, who needed treatment, and longed for 
it, but could not bear the expense. Missionaries 
came in the same way, and also teachers. It was 
brought before me as my business in this world, to 
do something for those three classes. It was a 
specific charity of course, and it has been the charity 
to which I have ever since devoted myself. Then 
came the question, how shall this be done? By 
night and by day, this question was with me. 

The writer requests that this chapter be re-read 
by every reader that he may really know Dr. Henry 
Foster, — his inner life, its evolution, struggles, pur- 
poses and plans; and why the Clifton Springs Sani- 
tarium was founded. Dr. Foster went out .like Sir 
Galahad in quest of the Holy Grail, yet unlike him 
in hauteur of spirit, or wealth of purse. Hiram Golf, 
the shoemaker, was asked, "What is your business?" 
His answer was, "Serving the Lord, but I make 
shoes to pay expenses." We shall find Dr. Foster 
loyal, not only to the specific charity named, but 


2 9 

he always sought to enlarge it. He let the house 
grow into a mighty plant, but that was only a 
means to the end, that it might do a larger religious 
work. God was first and central, and this was his 
life motto, "This one thing I do." He landed at 
Clifton Springs in the fall of 1849 with his person- 
ality, purposes and $1,000. The next chapter will 
tell of the beginnings of the enterprise. 



THE reasons prompting Dr. Foster to select 
Clifton Springs as the place for his life work, 
deserve mention. He came at first on an exploring 
trip, attracted by the fame of the Clifton Springs 
sulphur water. As early as 1825, a bath house had 
been erected just north of the main spring, where 
now stands the Peirce Pavilion. This bathing place 
was well patronized not only by whites, but by the 
Seneca Indians who were fond of visiting the spot. 
People from Geneva drove here with empty jugs, 
which they filled and took home. This led to the 
erection of a public house, about twenty-five rods 
eastward from the spring, which was known as 
Parks Tavern. The waters at Clifton Springs re- 
semble closely those at White Sulphur Springs, 
West Virginia, which place has been, since 1778, 
one of the most popular resorts in the South. 

These springs have been abundant — in fact ex- 
haustless, and if uninfluenced by piping, their 
temperature at all seasons is 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 
Another consideration appealing to Dr. Foster 
was the unfailing supply of fresh water which could 
be easily obtained by piping from abundant springs 



not far away. This combination of both fresh and 
sulphur water, for hydropathic purposes, was great- 
ly appreciated by him, as attested by these words 
in his circular letter of that period. 

"Not only are these waters, fresh and sulphur, 
exceedingly curative when separately administered 
in the usual mode of bathing, but they have been 
found to be far more beneficial, when properly inter- 
changed and combined and skillfully applied to the 
particular demands of patients." 

Dr. Foster's first visit to Clifton Springs was in 
the fall of 1849, which he described as follows: 

"I landed down yonder back of the old hotel 
grounds in the eastern part of the village, and about 
sundown I went up to the little tavern which then 
stood on the hill, and without saying anything to 
anyone of my motives in coming to this place, after 
supper, I took my stick, and came down to investi- 
gate this lot containing the springs, reaching over 
there to the cottage and as far back as the buildings 
go. This was in a wild state, only a sulphur brook 
and marsh, and as I attempted in the dusk to cross, 
I went down and pretty deep in too. I crawled out 
a wiser man, cleaned my clothes as well as I could, 
and the next day resumed investigations. I fought 
shy of that place, but concluded to buy, and after 
some delay and difficulty, secured the deed from 
Mr. Phelps, one of the Grantors of this tract called 
"the Phelps and Gorham Purchase." 

As Dr. Foster had only one thousand dollars, a 
Joint Stock Company was needed to finance the 


enterprise, and such a company was organized 
Feby. 24th, 1850, with twenty shares of stock at 
five hundred dollars a share. There were ten stock- 
holders, Dr. Foster taking two shares, and the other 
taking from one to three shares each. The chosen 
site, which was this wild sulphur brook and marsh 
with its ten acres of ground, was purchased for 
$750. The plan for a water cure building to be 
erected thereon was agreed to. Dr. Foster was 
chosen Medical Director with a salary of nine 
hundred dollars a year, and another stockholder 
was chosen Financial Manager, with a salary of 
six hundred dollars a year and board for himself 
and family. It was provided that the government 
of the establishment should be in the hands of the 
officers of the Board of Stockholders, and that all 
questions of appeal from them should be decided 
by the Financial Manager and Medical Director. 
From this we can see that these two officials held 
co-ordinate rank. This divided headship led to 
trouble later on. 

The stock company project soon proved a snare 
and sore trial. Fifty years later at the Semi-Cen- 
tennial, Dr. Foster, in referring back to this early 
period said, "Fifty-one years ago, I came to this 
place to seek a locality where I could build some- 
thing that I knew God wanted me to build. I went 
over the ground. It was all woods here and south 
of us; woods north of us, except the ridges which 
were fit for farming lands; there was not a business 
place, not a shop except a blacksmith shop to serve 


the farmers of the vicinity. We can look over the 
stretch of years which seem delightful as we look 
back upon them; apparently they have gone very 
smoothly, but when the days and weeks were pass- 
ing, there were stormy seas, difficulties to meet, 
crosses to bear, and it has been fifty years of toil 
and anxiety, and of much, very much praying." 

"When I came here as a young man, there were 
many "Isms" through this part of the country. 
Spiritualism had its birth just north of us, and many 
other "Isms" and "Fads" were before the public, 
which classed my work as only another "Fad." 
This I had to meet, and growing out of that, 
naturally enough, the jealousies and oppositions of 
the medical profession, who thought it a religious 
duty to keep everybody away from the house that 
they could. The business men considered our work 
as simply a bubble to burst in a short time, and 
gave me the cold shoulder. Here I was alone. There 
were a few of God's children, who in spirit were my 
fast friends, but as a whole I was obliged to walk 
alone. I dared not tell my plan to any one for years, 
but nevertheless, I kept straight on." 

It must have been a great shock to Dr. Foster to 
come suddenly from his pentecostal baptism at 
New Graefenberg, feeling divinely called and led, 
and then to pass through such trying experiences. 
The official records of the stockholders have this 
entry under date of July 2, 1851: "Resolved that 
Dr. Henry Foster have leave of absence for the 
benefit of his health, and that we pay the expense 


of a competent water cure physician in his stead, 
his own salary being deducted for the time." So 
far as known, Dr. Foster did not go away. 

The Water Cure building was completed and 
formally opened for guests Sept. 13, 1850. There 
was a good waiting list of the Doctor's old patients 
at New Graefenberg who came at once. Guests 
were charged for board, room and medical care in- 
cluding treatments, $5 to $8 per week. Board of 
nurses and of friends of patients was placed from 
$2.50 to $5.00 per week, and stockholders and their 
families had a special rate as guests at $3.00 to 
$5.00 per week. Wood, which was the only fuel, 
was 50c extra per week. A steward was employed 
at $30.00 per month, and a matron at $4.00 per 
week. The institution cost, when completed and 
furnished, a little over $23,000, so that the capital 
stock, which was now increased to $10,500, was 
followed by a floating indebtedness of nearly 
$13,000. For the first 18 months, Dr. Foster was 
the only physician in the cure, and in addition to 
his professional duties, he spent much time in 
spiritual work among his patients. Daily morning 
prayers were held in his medical office, and when 
that became too small, they were held in the parlors. 
Those were seasons of great spiritual refreshment. 
In fact, the Water Cure had been opened only three 
weeks, when an old fashioned revival of religion 
took place, where many guests professed conversion 
to God. Dr. Foster was a real evangelist, and he 
was never happier than when leading some wanderer 

- - t* a^^^f^. 

~St*~* s ~*-*?? ;.-^-* r ~>^ fc 




* ? 

**>**£*— *->. 




up to the true life of faith and love in Christ. In an 
informal talk which Dr. Foster gave in the Sani- 
tarium Chapel in 1892, he said, "We had opened 
this house but three weeks, when God came and 
showed his pleasure by the conversion of many, 
and I had my first experience then in battling with 
men and women, educated and refined, who didn't 
believe in putting man's spiritual interests first, but 
insisted upon the old plan of dancing, tableaux, 
card playing and everything that would amuse. 
The battle began at this point when the spirit of 
God came into the house, and brought men under 
conviction and many were converted. This oppo- 
sition sprang right up, and there was between the 
two classes a wall, as it were. As a result, some 
threatened to whip me, but they never did, but 
packed their trunks and went one after another, 
some in a rage and some quietly, saying they 
thought they would be more comfortable some- 
where else, and I thought so too. It seemed at this 
time, to some of our friends, that the whole business 
was ruined by my foolishness, but I tell you there 
were certain souls here praying at that time. The 
patronage went away, a good deal of it, but there 
came one stream in as the other stream went out, 
till within a short time, we were fuller than before, 
and had another and a better class of patrons. 
Never since has there been such a war, though for 
a number of years there would occasionally be a 
flurry. Some would go away, but instead of ruining 


the Institution it has been growing stronger and 

Two opposite currents set into Dr. Foster's life. 
He was greatly beloved by many, and greatly op- 
posed by others. The divided headship in the man- 
agement was working mischief, and it looked at one 
time as though the whole enterprise would collapse. 

After the water cure had been opened a year, it 
was voted at the stock holders meeting to "De- 
clare a dividend of three and one-half per cent in 
notes payable in one year from date." This was 
under the dual headship. 

At the annual stockholders meeting held Jan. 
1852, the official records say, "It was voted that 
the resignation of the General Agent be accepted 
to take effect today." At the same meeting it was 
voted that Dr. Hubbard Foster be an associate 
physician, and also General Agent for one year. 

At the annual meeting of stockholders one year 
later, a dividend of seven per cent was declared, 
and Dr. Henry Foster was elected to the headship 
of both departments, Medical Director and General 
Agent, thus uniting in him, control of all depart- 
ments of service in the Water Cure, and that rule 
obtained ever after. 

At this meeting a few guests of the house who 
were devoted to Dr. Foster's interest bought stock, 
among whom was Judge Paige of Schenectady, who 
became a director on the Board of Stockholders, 
and who proved a most valuable lifelong friend to 
Dr. Foster. Among the guests at this time was a 


young Presbyterian minister named F. F. Ellin- 
wood, who later became eminent in the church, and 
whose love for Dr. Foster bore abundant fruit for 
a full half century. At the semi-centennial cele- 
bration held Sept. 13th, 1900, among the speakers 
was Mrs. Hibbard, widow of a well-known Method- 
ist minister, Rev. Dr. F. G. Hibbard. She said, 
"I first came to know the founder of this institu- 
tion in 1851. My husband came home from a ses- 
sion of the East Genesee Conference in Palmyra, 
and said among other things, "I met a very re- 
markable young man there, and I became interested 
in him. He talks pretty large for a man of his years, 
but God is with him, and he has but one object, and 
that is to honor God and benefit humanity. He is 
opposed. I shall stand by him." The promise was 
made good and the fellowship was lifelong. Other 
friends rallied around the Doctor, including many 
of high rank and influence. His splendid work in 
the Water Cure was bearing fruit. Things were 
primitive, exceedingly so. Wood was the only fuel. 
Fires were built in guests' rooms at 5 a. m. The 
rising bell rang at six, when all had their morning 
bath, to be followed by a walk, with breakfast at 
seven. The use of tea and coffee was prohibited, 
and meat was used very sparingly. The menu was 
not varied, yet guests came more and more; so that 
the old frame building was enlarged and modified, 
from first to last, twelve times. The medical equip- 
ment was simple. Hydropathic treatment in all its 


forms was practiced, accompanied by the moderate 
use of drugs. 

On April 5th, 1854, the Clifton Springs Water 
Cure Co., was organized under chapter 153 of laws 
of 1854, and at a meeting of the stockholders held 
early in that year, it was unanimously voted to 
increase the capital stock from $10,500 to $21,000, 
each stockholder doubling his present holding. All 
the old certificates of stock were taken up and new 
ones issued, calling for 210 shares at one hundred 
dollars per share. Dr. Foster received a Certificate 
dated July 19th, 1854, calling for sixty-five shares. 
In 1855 the capital stock was increased fifty per 
cent calling for 315 shares. 

The patronage of the Water Cure as a rule ex- 
ceeded its accommodations, and after the old frame 
building had been enlarged in minor ways a dozen 
times, it became necessary to do something more 
radical. Had you come here ten years later, you 
would have seen a massive brick structure with 
235 feet frontage, four stories in height at the east 
and west wings, and five stories in height at the 
center. This is anticipating, but Dr. Foster had it 
in his plans even then, for the east wing was put 
up and completed in July 1856. It adjoined the 
old frame building on the east, and at first was only 
three stories in height with gable roof to correspond 
with the other buildings. The crowning event of 
the first six years of the life of the Sanitarium 
occurred July 25, 1856, when the new building was 
formally and in a most impressive way dedicated 























I— t 






p— i 




to God. There were three sessions that day at 
which the following speakers gave addresses: Rev. 
B. F. Tefft, LL.D., Ex-President of Genesee Col- 
lege (now known as Syracuse University), Rev. Dr. 
L. P. Hickok, acting President of Union College, 
Judge A. C. Paige of Schenectady, Rev. M. L. 
P. Thompson, D.D., of Buffalo, and Rev. Dr. James 
B. Shaw, Pastor of the Brick Church at Rochester. 
The lengthy printed account is full of interest and 
suggestions from which I will briefly summarize. 
1st. Large numbers in attendance and great en- 
thusiasm. 2nd. The key note of every address was 
Dr. Foster's religious aims and successes. To illus- 
trate the novelty of that day's program President 
Hickok said, "This whole service is new, not new 
to have water cures, though this method of healing 
is comparatively recent, not new to dedicate 
chapels and churches; but to have water cures es- 
tablished and dedicate them to God and to formally 
consecrate them to His service, and arrange them 
for worship has never probably been done before." 
Dr. Foster had spared no pains to make the dedica- 
tory service memorable, and it shows how impres- 
sed he was with the weight of His divine call to this 
holy task. An outstanding feature of the whole 
report was the fine influence and reputation of the 
Clifton Springs Water Cure. Surely Dr. Foster had 
made good his vow at New Graefenberg to build a 
house of healing which should be for God's glory. 
Judge Paige in his address presented the financial 
successes already realized considering that these 


had been experimental years, and then let the audi- 
ence into a secret — two plans which Dr. Foster was 
fondly cherishing for the future. The financial ex- 
hibit showed the original capital stock of ten thou- 
sand dollars, increased to thirty-one thousand and 
five hundred dollars all paid in and expended on 
improvements costing over forty-one thousand 
dollars, upon which the indebtedness was only 
seven thousand dollars. Judge Paige then added 
these words. 

"When the present debt of $7,000 is discharged 
through the net earnings of the Institution, it is the 
design of Dr. Henry Foster to influence philan- 
thropic men of wealth to unite with him in endow- 
ing the Institution with a fund so large, that the 
income arising from it will be sufficient to pay the 
expenses of the medical faculty and steward. And 
it is his further design to purchase himself, as a 
personal enterprise, all the stockholders' stock and 
to make the institution eleemosynary — to be con- 
ducted for the benefit of the poor of all evangelical 
denominations, but more especially for that of 
poor clergymen and their families." 

I found this entry last year in the stockholders 
book for the year 1857. "Record of donations made 
for the purchase of stock in the Clifton Water Cure 
Company with a view to the institution becoming 
eleemosynary and for endowment of the same", to 
which was appended a few names with the amount 


Dr. Foster never reached the goal of this large 
charitable plan, but it was never forgotten, for in 
the Deed of Trust of November 1881 in which Dr. 
and Mrs. Foster donated the entire Sanitarium 
plant, it was expressly stipulated that all the profits 
of the enterprise, after meeting the expenses of all 
necessary upkeep and betterments of the property, 
should be devoted to an enlarged charity, and that 
deed of trust recites that what he was then doing 
was but the consummation of plans formed in the 
early fifties. 

This will help us to understand the second part 
of the secret which Judge Paige entrusted to the 
audience, namely, why Dr. Foster so strongly de- 
sired to become the exclusive owner of the entire 
Sanitarium plant. When the stock company was first 
formed in Feby., 1850, Dr. Foster was absolutely 
frank with the men assembled as he unfolded his 
experiences and plans, yet it is one thing to be 
charmed by the presentation of a beautiful idealism 
and quite another thing to live with it day after 
day, through thick and thin, and through the years. 
Some weakened, others opposed, the stock changed 
hands, and when some of the guests of the Sanitar- 
ium took hold of it, it was to meet an emergency, 
and to hold their stock so long, and only so long as 
might meet Dr. Foster's pleasure. It was logical 
for Dr. Foster to desire to be unfettered and free. 
This was his enterprise. He was the founder, the 
creator, the essential center. He was God's man 
to carry it on according to the Divine pattern, and 



in order to do this, joint stock ownership must 
finally be eliminated altogether. It was an act of 
faith; a radical reliance upon God. How well he 
succeeded we shall discover later on. 

Dr. Henry Foster in the Early Sixties 



HENRY FOSTER and his brothers, Charles, 
Hubbard and William, and his sisters, Mrs. 
Mary Horner and Mrs. Martha Dodge, all bore 
marked characteristics, prominent among which 
were fervent piety, intense sociability and dogged 
persistence. There was nothing fickle or capricious 
in their make up. 

In many homes, after the children reach maturity 
the members of the family drift apart. But in the 
Foster family, there was a strong bond of fellowship 
which brought them much together. When a 
young man, Henry lived for a time in the home of 
his married sister, Mrs. Dr. Horner at Milan, Ohio, 
while he attended a normal school, and there he 
met daily his brother Hubbard. Before Henry 
graduated from the medical college at Cleveland, 
he was assisting his brother Hubbard in a water 
cure at Lowell, Mass. When Dr. Henry had been 
at Clifton Springs eighteen months, and was ill 
from overwork and multiplied embarrassments, Dr. 
Hubbard came to the rescue, and assisted him a 
long time. Again he was on the medical staff in 
1858. He was a brilliant physician, and for over 


twenty years he had an eminently successful medi- 
cal practice in the city of Buffalo, but at Dr. 
Henry's request he would drop all and devote 
months, and at one time several years, to the inter- 
ests of the Water Cure at Clifton Springs, giving it 
the same care and devotion as if it were his own 
enterprise. I never knew a more beautiful example 
of brotherly devotion than he furnished. He had a 
quieter nature than Henry, but he was a man of 
massive strength in his learning and skill as a 
medical practitioner. 

Mrs. Dr. Horner came to Clifton Springs in 1879, 
a widow, and here was her home until her death in 
1902. It was Dr. Henry's habit to visit her home 
almost daily. 

The Doctor's brother William lived in California. 
A liver trouble developed, and in 1854 he seemed 
hopelessly ill. Dr. Henry, full of watchful brotherly 
solicitude, went to California and brought him to 
Clifton Springs. Good medical care and whole- 
some out of door life added twenty-seven valuable 
years to his earthly pilgrimage. 

William Foster was not at this time a Christian. 
Nine years before, Dr. Henry and his mother had 
entered into a covenant of daily prayer for his con- 
version. The praying and waiting covered a long 
period, but the answer came at length in full 
measure, when William and Henry were one, not 
only in brotherly affection, but also in holy, blessed 
spiritual fellowship. It was an opportune moment 
for the Institution when William Foster with his 














rare business gifts came, for instead of being a care, 
he became indispensable in service. 

With the development of the Institution came 
an unavoidable increase of financial responsibility, 
for which Dr. Henry with all his other duties had 
insufficient time. More than that, it was a time of 
peril. Henry was a man of vision, of quick decisive 
action, a pusher. He saw the needs, enlarged his 
plans, and ran deeply into debt. He was brusque 
and imperious; William was cautious and tactful. 
No one else dared counsel the Doctor. The story is 
told that one day when William was superintending 
quite a large job at ditching, Henry came out, and 
countermanded the plan. William came and count- 
ermanded the countermand. The Doctor reappear- 
ed and issued countermand number three. William 
said, "Henry, you go back to your patients and 
your pills. Leave this job to me. I have thought 
it all out and I know I am right." That was all. 
That was enough. Each one gave the other a 
brother's heart and a brother's fidelity. William 
was always a staff to lean upon during the years of 
trial and difficulty incident to the growth and estab- 
lishment of the Institution, and he justly shares in 
the credit of its large success. 

William Foster built and owned the Annex Block, 
a three and four story brick structure with about 
220 feet frontage and designed for a hotel, which 
is today a part of the Sanitarium equipment. The 
ground floor has been and still is rented for stores. 
William owned a farm of 145 acres lying just north 


of the village. This he managed for many years 
himself, but in 1880 his own health failing, he en- 
gaged Mr. Cotton, his sister Martha's son-in-law, 
as farm manager. With Mr. Cotton and his wife 
lived their mother, Mrs. Martha Dodge, Dr. 
Henry's sister, who spent on this farm the last 24 
years of her widowed life. Dr. Henry, in 1854, 
negotiated with the Association for the purchase 
of a piece of ground lying between the Methodist 
church and sulphur brook, on which he built the 
"Foster Cottage". This became a historic spot, 
where Dr. Foster lived and died, and which, by the 
terms of the Deed of Trust in 1881, is ever to be the 
official residence of the Superintendent of the Sani- 
tarium. Here Dr. Hubbard and his family lived 
for a time, and later, until Dr. Henry's marriage in 
1872, Wm. Foster and his family resided. In 1859 
Dr. Foster planned to bring his aged parents to 
this cottage from Milan, Ohio, for permanent resi- 
dence and care, but the father suddenly sickened 
and died at Milan and his remains were brought to 
Clifton Springs for burial. The mother spent eleven 
years in Dr. Henry's and William's home. She was 
a remarkable woman, and never did a mother re- 
ceive more honor and attention than these stalwart 
sons gave her. Dr. Henry roomed in the Water 
Cure, but took his meals in the cottage. It was his 
rule, when he came to breakfast, first to visit his 
mother's apartment and escort her in state to the 
dining room. These details are true because there 
sits by my side in our old age one who was there. 


For fifteen years, beginning in 1866, she, then Mary 
Dunbar, M. D., was the lady physician on the 
Sanitarium Medical Staff. Every morning of that 
period she breakfasted in the Foster Cottage as an 
invited guest, sharing all the intimacies of the 
family life. Dr. Henry was to her as a father, and 
she to him as a daughter. 

Dear old Foster Cottage! Like Moore's Evening 
Bells, there's many a tale its memory tells. Grand- 
ma Foster died on Oct. 16th, 1870, at the good age 
of 85 years, and her children and grandchildren 
and a host of neighbors and Sanitarium guests laid 
her body to rest in the family plot in God's Acre. 

Eleven years after the mother's death William 
followed. He and his wife had buried their only 
children, a baby boy and a sweet six year old 
daughter, Grace. Soon after Dr. Henry's marriage 
in 1872, William built a residence in the village, 
which they occupied for a short time, when the 
wife died. She was a woman of rare virtues. This 
last bereavement was too much for William's im- 
perfect strength. Alone, desolate, he clung to his 
brother Henry, between whom and himself had 
grown, through all the years, a love like that be- 
tween David and Jonathan. He was taken to 
Colorado where a faithful sister watched over him. 
From there his brother, Dr. Hubbard, took him to 
Las Vegas, New Mexico, where he died Dec. 27th, 
1881, and his remains were brought back to Clifton 
Springs for burial. Dr. Henry had made his brother 
William one of the trustees to administer the Deed 


of Trust. It so happened that the first meeting of 
the other trustees was held Dec. 28th, 1881, one 
day after William's death, when appropriate resolu- 
tions of condolence were passed. Later Dr. Henry 
built a chapel at Lake Charm, Florida, and named 
it the "William Foster Memorial Chapel". In our 
village cemetery is a towering, granite shaft, around 
which lie today the bodies of the Foster family, the 
father and mother, the five sons and two daughters, 
in most instances their companions and to some 
extent their children. United in life, in death they 
were not divided. 

By an honest inheritance, Dr. Foster possessed a 
strong and demonstrative social nature. He was 
as intense in his affections as he was in his mental 
industrial and spiritual life. In fact, all his feelings 
ran with a strong current, and were charged with a 
high voltage. Both his loves and his repulsions 
were strong. The family life with him did not stop 
with kin. He introduced the family idea into all 
the life and service of the Institution. Somehow 
the guests felt at home where he was, and he made 
warm enduring friendships among them. While his 
government was strong, yet it was kind, democratic, 
and paternal. He was the poor man's friend, and 
the laborer's brother. His kindness to faithful em- 
ployees was proverbial. Today, the Doctor's mem- 
ory is held sacred in kitchen and laundry, in shop 
and farm house, in business office and in the homes 
of the humble. The Doctor was sometimes stormy, 
but he was honest, and everywhere was manifest 



the richness of his life of brotherly love. It was an 
atmosphere — a life — a joy — a rest. Three words 
expressed it, ''The Foster spirit." Many a guest 
has dubbed it D. 0. C, "Dear Old Clifton." No 
one, who has not shared it, can appreciate its full 
strength and meaning. It has given a home feeling 
to many a lonesome, homesick, stranded piece of 
physical wreckage, and when such left for home, 
there lived in their hearts a desire to return some 
day, and live the life of Christian fellowship over 
again. Deeply significant also are the long terms of 
service under Dr. Foster, of very many employees 
covering from 20 to 40 years at the time of his death. 



JULY 25th, 1856, with its elaborate dedication 
of the Chapel, and of the entire Water Cure, 
was a landmark. The experimental stage of the 
Water Cure's history was now past. With a reason- 
ably assured future, the work of the coming years 
was to develop and realize what Dr. Foster had 
prayerfully planned. A cash dividend of 7 per cent 
was paid that year on the stock, and, commencing 
in 1857, an annual cash dividend of 8 per cent was 
paid on the stock, until 1881, when the Stock Com- 
pany ceased. By a formal resolution at the stock- 
holders meeting in 1857, the annual dividend was 
never to exceed 8 per cent; all other profits going 
into the development of the plant. The books of 
the Association show that in 1857 Dr. Foster 
owned one hundred shares; in 1858, one hundred 
forty-three shares; in 1861, one hundred sixty- three 
shares; in 1862, two hundred seventy shares; in 
1864, three hundred fifteen shares, and they also 
showed that when he became the owner of all the 
stock, a dividend of 8 per cent upon $31,500 was 
declared annually and credited to Dr. Foster's 
personal account, in the books of the Sanitarium 

U - m ill— »»»c» 

t 8 56 — 1 872 51 

office, during the life of the Stock Company. By 
act of the State Legislature, July 22nd, 1867, Henry 
Foster was recognized as the exclusive owner of all 
the property held by the "Clifton Springs Water 
Cure Co." Dr. Foster's financial success was phe- 
nomenal, and was a clear case where under God's 
special blessing, and the Doctor's fine business 
management, the $1,000 planted as seed in 1850 
grew to over half a million dollars in 31 years. 

Had you come to Clifton Springs in 1865, you 
would have found the old frame building, erected 
in 1850, gone, and in its place a massive brick struc- 
ture, fronting 235 feet, the central part five stories 
in height, surmounted by a cupola and each wing 
four stories in height the entire cost of which was 
about $175,000. This had been built in three sec- 
tions. The east wing was erected in 1855 and 1856, 
adjoining the east side of the old frame building. In 
the rear part was the chapel, which later was re- 
moved to the second and third floors, making it more 
accessible for the guests of the house. The west wing 
was erected in 1864; and, in 1865, the old frame 
building was torn down, and the five story center 
of the brick structure took its place. Soon after the 
completion of this building, William Foster built 
the Annex and other buildings were erected. The 
new Methodist church adjoining the Sanitarium 
property was built in 1867 on the site of the old one. 
Dr. Foster contributed over one-half of its cost. 
Private homes multiplied, and what in 1850 was 
simply a state road running east and west with only 


nine houses in the settlement, and only two roads 
running off into the country, one going north at 
Kendall Street, and the other going south at Pearl 
Street, was now quite a sizable village clustering 
around Dr. Foster's Water Cure as its center. 

It is seldom that we meet now people conversant 
with those early days, but it was my good fortune 
to meet recently a lady, who was a guest at the 
Water Cure in 1858. She was bright and full of 
lively reminiscences. She described Dr. Henry as 
handsome, commanding, everlastingly busy in the 
house, while his brother William was as busy out- 
side. Her physician was Dr. Hubbard Foster, 
whom she idolized. She had four treatments a day, 
and paid eight dollars a week for everything in- 
cluding room and board. The house was rilled with 
choice guests, and its life was animated and home- 
like. Her personal acquaintance with Dr. Henry 
was more through the religious talks he had with 
her. The Medical Faculty, she said, consisted of 
Dr. Henry Foster, Dr. Hubbard Foster, Dr. Hayes, 
a physician of high repute, and Dr. Cordelia Green. 
This Dr. Green afterward established a Sanitarium 
of her own for women at Castile, N. Y., modeled 
much after the Clifton plan, and to this day it is in 
successful operation. This was a medical faculty 
of four stalwarts, and shows how painstaking Dr. 
Foster was that the medical work should answer a 
very high ideal. He never cheapened things, and 
in that way, he laid his foundations deep and strong 
for permanent results. With the enlargement of 

1856— 1872 53 

the Water Cure and its patronage, came added care 
for Dr. Foster. He was much sought professionally 
in the village and elsewhere, and he made more 
daily calls upon the sick in the Water Cure than did 
anyone else. He was sought by many for private 
religious conference and prayer. He attended 
strictly to all the Chapel services. His were the 
business cares and responsibilities. His were social 
functions and the entertainments of callers and 
visitors, and to all he gave his close attention, for 
that was his habit. More than all that, his activities 
invaded the hours of sleep. He would prowl about 
to see if those on night duty were faithful, and he 
would remember those critically ill, and make the 
midnight call. Like our Savior, he spent many 
hours at night in prayer. Dr. North, who came as 
a physician, in 1861, and excepting a few years, 
remained such until after Dr. Foster's death, re- 
marked on sundry ocasions of the two holes in the 
carpet at the foot of Dr. Foster's bed made by the 
Doctor's knees when in prayer. The story is told 
that one wintry night while prowling about, Dr. 
Foster found the night watchman, whom he was 
suspecting of negligence, in a bath room sound 
asleep, his feet stretched out before him and his 
head tilted back against the wall. The doctor 
quietly stole the slippers from the watchman's feet 
and then, getting a bucket of ice cold water, he 
dashed it all in the sleeper's face. While the be- 
wildered man was trying to get his whereabouts, 
and to find his slippers, the Doctor stood laughing 


and went off without saying a word. The man was 
never again found napping. 

In 1864, Dr. Foster became nervously exhausted 
from overwork, and went to California for a rest, 
leaving his brother, Dr. Hubbard Foster in charge 
of the Water Cure. Of his experience in California 
at this time he says: "I finally broke down from 
overwork. It was evident that I must leave at 
once and go away, otherwise I would never be 
able to do any work. My brother, Dr. Hubbard 
Foster, came and took charge of the house, and 
carried it right along while I was away. I found 
myself with low spirits, and things looked sad and 
dark. I went to California to get away from people. 
I landed in San Francisco, and very soon many 
came around me, and wanted to consult me pro- 
fessionally. I bought me a repeating rifle and some 
cartridges to defend myself with, and went down to 
San Jose Valley, and nobody knew that I ever 
thought of being a Doctor, because I kept it a secret. 
I went into the fields and sat there, day after day, 
shooting prairie dogs, and gradually I grew stronger. 
One pleasant day I went into the mountain. There 
is a mountain range that overlooks the valley, and 
I succeeded in climbing to the top. I was a little 
stimulated going up; I got on one plateau and there 
was a wolf very curious to get acquainted with me. 
He kept receding and I kept advancing; as I ap- 
peared on one plateau, he disappeared over the 
peak. I finally reached the top of the mountain, 
and found a stone pile. Somebody had been there, 

1856— 1872 5$ 

and reared it as a monument. I sat down on the 
stone pile, tired, depressed and sad; and under that 
depression, I sat there, and in my meditations I 
took in the past and the present, which drove me 
to prayer. I presented my whole life again to God; 
the entire interests of the Sanitarium, and my rela- 
tions with it. While thus contemplating the work, 
the Holy Spirit came upon me, filling me with His 
presence, and I saw what seemed to be a rainbow. 
The base of it was there on that mountain inclosing 
me; it went up to the mercy seat; the other base 
came down and rested here in Clifton Springs, over 
the house. It was a mental thing, of course, but it 
was a reality to me. I looked at it, and I saw there 
were streams going up, and then there were streams 
going down, and resting upon me. I was re-ener- 
gized, and so much so that I became astonished, 
and began to think, "Somebody is praying for me 
— who is it? 

I looked at my watch, and it was a little past 
four o'clock. I then took my wallet out containing 
a little card, which showed me that at that time it 
was 15 minutes past seven here in Clifton Springs. 
I began to think: "What day is it? — Wednesday — 
Wednesday evening; they are praying for me." I 
wrote home and inquired about it; Mrs. Hibbard, 
God bless her, answered immediately and said, 
"We were praying for you at that very moment." 
Dr. Hibbard had requested prayer, and they were 
earnestly pleading before God for me. Do you not 
think that settled me, strengthened me, proved to 


me that the teaching was from God, and from God 
alone? I kept on improving, came home, and found 
things had gone well. Those servants of the living 
God had been faithful. 

About that time I was told that there had been a 
match made in Heaven, and it was a very curious 
thing. I began to look at ft and saw what it was. 
I had to watch it for a number of years, but finally 
it materialized on earth, when Mrs. Foster came 
into the family with light, dispensing joy and hap- 
piness. Now I began to see why these troubles had 
come upon me, and I found the reasons. In the 
first place, I had not kept up fully my faith in an- 
swers to intercessory prayer. I knew God answered 
my prayers, but intercessory prayer had not been 
a sufficient reality with me. That settled the ques- 
tion of intercessory prayer forever. I also learned 
that I had worked in the will of Henry Foster, ex- 
pending vitality unnecessarily. I saw I was work- 
ing too much in my own strength. I was working 
wholly for God; wholly in His interest, but was 
working in my own strength too much. There was 
a better way. I could do what my strength would 
permit me to do without injury, and God, the Holy 
Spirit, would come in and do all the rest, and I 
would do better work by depending more upon Him. 
I had been preaching that to my patients, but have 
preached it more strongly ever since, that a man, 
to do the best work, must rely wholly on the Holy 
Spirit, and in that experience, I learned to take the 

' . .' 









i 856 — 1 872 57 

Holy Spirit as a partner into all my work, following 
His will implicitly." 

How long Dr. Foster remained in California, I 
do not know, but we know that his activities in 
1865 were unstinted. We shall find, however, that 
in 1867 he began to make annual winter pilgrimages 
to Florida, which were continued while he lived. 

Gradually and especially after the completion of 
the new brick building, Dr. Foster enlarged the 
medical equipment. He introduced hand massage 
the varied uses of dry electricity, galvanic, faradic 
and static electric, tub baths, known as the electro- 
chemical and electro- thermal. He installed Turkish 
baths and salt baths. The use of the old sulphur 
baths was retained, and much of the early hydro- 
pathic treatment. The prevailing method of ad- 
ministering medicines was homeopathic, though 
that was not exclusive. In this is well illustrated a 
trait of character in Dr. Foster to which I have 
already referred, where he would not narrow him- 
self to any one school of medicine, or to any speci- 
fied therapy, but would reach out for whatever 
promised to be of value in treating the sick. 

There was in the sanitarium until the summer of 
1919, a relic, which, to me, has been of exceeding 
interest, for it illustrates perfectly this trait. 

Near the gentlemen's bath room in the new main 
building, was an iron structure reaching from floor 
to ceiling, circular in form, and about ten feet in 
diameter. Into it, years ago, patients went and sat 
for an hour, breathing compound oxygen for the 


cure of deafness, catarrh, and other ills. How came 
Dr. Foster to install its use? Thereby hangs a tale. 
You will remember how in 1850, Dr. Foster was 
voted a fanatic and fool, and his enterprise a bubble 
which would soon burst. In 1865 the new massive 
brick building told its own story of progress and 
thrift. Certain citizens said, let us duplicate Dr. 
Foster's success by erecting on the site of the old 
Wayside Inn which commands a beautiful view, 
a four story hotel, install therein an air cure treat- 
ment which is so popular, allow a hotel bar and 
plenty of dancing and other amusements. It was 
done. Guests came. Money flowed freely, and if 
we may believe present day reminiscence, so did 
booze. The little village was gay. The frequent 
midnight dancing caused no little disturbance to 
the sick in the Water Cure, for the two "Cures" 
were not far apart. The enterprise proved a finan- 
cial disappointment to its projectors, and on Janu- 
ary 2, 1872, the great hotel burned to the ground. 
It was never rebuilt. The insurance of $102,000 on 
the building was paid. 

The land belonging to the Air Cure was bought 
by Dr. Foster, and it belongs to the Sanitarium 
Company today. Two circular iron tanks, where 
the Air Cure treatments were given, showed up in 
the debris after the fire. One was bought by Dr. 
Foster and installed in the Sanitarium. I now say 
"Sanitarium" instead of "Water Cure", for, by act 
of the Legislature, the corporate name of the 
"Clifton Springs Water Cure Company" was 

i 8 56 — 1872 59 

changed May 10th, 1871, to the "Clifton Springs 
Sanitarium Company". 

Horseback riding was much in vogue at the close 
of the Civil War in 1865. Dr. Foster was an ex- 
perienced and graceful rider, and often was seen 
riding in company with some of his guests, either 
in the morning before breakfast or after tea when 
there was no Chapel service. 

Among the hygienic and recreative provisions 
made by Dr. Foster for his guests was a good gym- 
nasium, with a competent physical instructor. At- 
tendance was urged, and the old gynmasium was 
well filled with men and women ranging in age 
from 16 to 70. First the dumb bells, then resting 
and chatting; then the free exercise; then resting 
and chatting; then the wand; then the march, when 
you chose your partner and went through with sun- 
dry evolutions ending up with "All promenade". 
That chassez business did put the tingle into the 
toes of dignified preachers and smiling school 
m'arms, to say nothing of the rest of the folks, but 
that was all the dancing they got, for the Doctor 
forbade dancing and card playing in the Sanitarium, 
and he held strictly to that rule while he lived. On 
every printed card giving the rules of the house 
were these words: "Dancing and card playing pro- 
hibited." He encouraged frolics, of which there 
were many in the old big west parlor, and he al- 
lowed the employees to have one or two hilarious 
dances in the gymnasium during the year. 



The real nerve center of the Sanitarium was the 
Chapel. Dr. Foster would have it so. The physi- 
cians whom he employed, or more strictly those 
whom he retained, were valuable co-workers with 
the Doctor in this service, and new guests as a rule 
readily fell in with what was dominant in the house- 
hold. ' 

Mary Edwards Foster 

dr. Foster's marriage 

IN the latter part of 1871, there came as guests to 
the Sanitarium, Mr. W. W. Edwards, of Hunter, 
N. Y., accompanied by his daughter, Miss Mary 
Edwards, who was devoting herself to her invalid 
father's care. She had a striking and winsome per- 
sonality which attracted Dr. Foster's notice, and 
later his regard. He sought her presence during 
her stay; she saw much of him, and their acquain- 
tance ripened into intimacy as the weeks passed by. 
Miss Edwards was now nearing thirty-five years of 
age and was in physical health. She had united 
with the Presbyterian Church when ten years of 
age. She was mentally gifted, and endowed with a 
strongly sympathetic and religious nature. *"She 
was the great-great-grand-daughter of the famous 
preacher in New England, the Rev. Jonathan 
Edwards, of North Hampton, Mass. That racial 
face was clearly outlined in her noble countenance, 
and the racial characteristics of thought, integrity 
and moral force marked her own distinct personality. 
She was a good student. At fourteen she had read 
Virgil and was well on in Mathematics. For a time 

*Copied from Miss Louise M. Hodgkins' letter to Zion's Herald, Boston, 
soon after Mrs. Foster's death, which occurred July 13, 1916. 


she had attended Miss Strong's school for young 
women at Hartford, Conn., and later had spent 
three years at Miss Porter's famous school at 
Farmington. Here she made so fine an impression 
as a student and as a remarkable type of young 
womanhood that Miss Porter wished to retain her 
on her faculty with the ultimate idea of associating 
her in the management of the School. Later when 
her brother returning from the Philippines, fell ill, 
and was left at Nice, she hastened to France, but 
arrived too late for aught but the sisterly duty of 
caring for her dead. Upon her return, she devoted 
herself to religious and philanthropic work in her 
own home town. She organized an evening school 
for factory youths and a Bible class for young men, 
from which, many, inspired by her words, entered 
college and became conspicuous as foremost citi- 
zens. She ministered to the unfortunate, especially 
to the blind." 

This was the type of woman to whom Dr. Foster 
was now devoting his attentions. The style of their 
courtship may be inferred from a letter she wrote 
her sister then abroad. Although no word had yet 
been spoken, she wrote, "If I never meet Dr. Foster 
again, I know he has given me an impetus to a 
higher life which I have ever longed for and never 
attained." It was not many weeks after that when 
he visited Brooklyn, and formally sought her hand 
in marriage. They were married the following June. 

Dr. and Mrs. Foster's married life was very 
happy. It is not easy for two positive commanding 


















natures like theirs to harmonize perfectly when at 
marriage the man is fifty-one years of age, and the 
woman thirty-five. Many wedded couples travel 
along life's pathway in tandem fashion, but Dr. 
and Mrs. Foster travelled side by side with rhythmic 
step and even traces. Both natures blended into 
one. They prayed much together. Mrs. Foster was 
a very wifely wife, who chose to follow in the 
Doctor's orbit. She undertook new duties, to which 
hitherto she had been entirely unaccustomed, such 
as speaking and offering prayer publicly in religious 
meetings. Their home life and spirit and hospitality 
were beautiful. They formed plans of public 
beneficence, and entered thoroughly into the life 
and interests of Clifton Springs. They had no 
children and were relieved by faithful servants of 
much of the drudgery of home cares. The winter 
following their marriage was spent in Europe, visit- 
ing various places. 

It was Mrs. Foster's habit to read aloud to the 
Doctor when they were alone, and in this way a 
well chosen and extensive plan of reading was faith- 
fully pursued. She entered fully into all his plans 
and seconded all his purposes. He was greatly 
blessed in the gifted, noble woman, who, for twenty- 
nine years was his wife and true helpmeet. She sur- 
vived him fifteen years, during the first seven of 
which she bore the heavy burdens of official head- 
ship of the Sanitarium, and during the years which 
followed, she was, by the loving consent of all, the 
Queen of the household. 



~^\R. FOSTER'S strenuous work necessitated a 
-■-^ prolonged annual vacation, which he took 
two or three months each winter beginning in 
1867 and continuing with rare exceptions as long 
as he lived. In the winter of '67 in company 
with other gentlemen, Dr. Foster bought a steam 
launch and cruised on the St. John River, hunt- 
ing and fishing. The Doctor was a sure shot 
with a rifle, a skillful angler and a boon com- 
panion. One day a sixteen foot alligator pur- 
sued the Doctor who was in a row boat with 
a negro. The 'gator's head was on the boat 
and his jaws wide open. He was all fight. It was 
a perilous moment, but a well directed bullet from 
the Doctor's rifle solved the problem. The Doctor, 
when telling it, said the negro was positively pale 
from fright. 

At Palatka he met a Captain Brock, a Confeder- 
ate soldier, who had a shattered elbow caused by a 
yankee bullet, who told him of the charms of Lake 
Jessup with its abundance of game, and urged Dr. 
Foster to visit the spot. 


About two miles from Lake Jessup was a settle- 
ment known as the Powell settlement where now 
stands the village of Oviedo. This Powell was a 
Baptist minister from Georgia. His son, Lewis 
Thornton Powell, who is known in history as 
"Payne" attempted the assassination of William 
H. Seward, who was then Secretary of State in 
President Lincoln's cabinet. He was tried at Wash- 
ington and executed. The father was suspected, 
though without reason, of complicity with the son's 
crime, and the negroes in the old Georgia neighbor- 
hood turned against him. Alarmed at this and 
oppressed by a sense of the disgrace that had come 
upon him and his family, he sought a place of safety 
and of retirement from his old associations. The 
war had left him a poor man. He exchanged his 
small holdings for some wild land near Lake Jessup. 
Some old neighbors and their families and former 
slaves joined him. Coming without money and 
without experience requisite for successful industry 
in a new country, the settlement soon degenerated 
in every way. The men gave themselves up to 
hunting and fishing. Religion was forgotten and 
drunkenness prevailed. It was to this settlement 
Captain Brock had invited Dr. Foster. The invita- 
tion was renewed the next winter and accepted. 
The establishment of Dr. Foster's camp among 
them introduced a new order of things. When 
Sabbath came, all hunting was suspended, religious 
services were held, and the people around invited to 
attend. A Bible Class was organized, and prayer 


meetings held. You might think that these lawless 
fellows would fight shy of the Doctor and his new 
regime, but not so. The Doctor had a wonderful 
gift to popularize religion, and these men became 
his warm, personal friends. 

About a mile away, on the beautiful elevated 
shore of Lake Charm where grew massive live oaks 
and magnolias, lived Mr. and Mrs. Gwynne. The 
husband had been secretary of State under Gover- 
nor Walker in the time of the Confederacy. The 
Doctor was asked to call there professionally and 
see the wife. He found a very sick woman. They 
were in greatly reduced circumstances, having 
nothing but their small cabin home and a few acres 
of this hummock land. The Doctor saw her at in- 
tervals while in Florida, and when ready to return 
home, knowing the woman would die if left behind, 
paid her fare to Clifton Springs, and kept her in 
the Sanitarium a full year free of cost. The next 
winter he returned her to her over-joyed husband, 
a well woman. This was not all. The religious 
spirit at the Sanitarium had led to her religious 
awakening. Returning to her Florida home, sound 
of body and full of Christian zeal, she at once be- 
came a missionary to the people. Many were led to 
Christ through her instrumentality. A great revival 
followed, and continued until every adult save 
seven, within a radius of six miles, was converted. 
This reformation was the beginning of a new life for 
the whole community. Mr. and Mrs. Gwynne at- 
tempted to deed to Dr. Foster about 40 acres of this 


wild hummock land as a partial compensation for 
his beneficence, but he declined it. They insisted, 
and the matter was finally compromised by deeding 
it to his new bride, Mary Edwards Foster. Dr. 
Foster then said to his wife, "Since this land is 
yours, we will build on it a cottage home, and live 
here hereafter when in Florida." The cottage was 
built, and a 25 acre orange grove started around it, 
which became later a famous grove. In those days 
Dr. and Mrs. Foster rode horseback extensively, 
and Mrs. Foster has often spoken of it to me as an 
ideal romantic period in her life. Six years later 
Dr. Foster started another 25 acre orange grove, 
six miles away, on the shore of Lake Jessup, which 
was known as the Gee Hammock grove. Dr. and 
Mrs. Foster became leaders in Florida life, and their 
home a center of hospitality. While the care of the 
Sanitarium continued to be no less Dr. Foster's 
vocation, orange growing in Florida became his 
avocation. We may pause in our narration of facts, 
to gather up the lessons from the cure of Mrs. 
Gwynne. It shows Dr. Foster's Christ-like love for 
humanity when he became so interested in the wel- 
fare of this woman. It shows how, in blessing her, 
he blessed a whole neighborhood through her. It 
shows his characteristic persistence of purpose, 
when taking her as his patient he would not leave 
the work unfinished. It put a stamp and definition 
upon the Sanitarium at Clifton Springs as God's 
house of healing mercy. It showed that Dr. Foster 
was a princely giver. 


The events narrated were in the order of Divine 
Providence, for they anchored him at Lake Charm, 
no longer a sportsman on the St. John River shoot- 
ing game, but a centre of Christian and educational 
influence in that part of Florida. He became a 
Trustee of Rollins college at Winter Park, and a 
director of a bank in Sanford. He built a Chapel 
and Parsonage at Lake Charm, the Chapel in mem- 
ory of his brother William. He broke up the 
schemes of money sharks who were charging natives 
extortionate rates of interest, and secured it for 
them at standard rates. He helped the negroes by 
generous employment of them, by eliminating so 
far as possible intoxicating drinks from the locality, 
and by helping them to schools and churches. He 
stimulated enterprise and thrift in the orange in- 
dustry. He brought down first and last a large 
number of sick people for a winter's stay, allowing 
them to get a maximum benefit at minimum cost, 
charging them nothing for his professional services. 
The large parsonage which he had built and fur- 
nished had seven bedrooms. Bishop Ninde of the 
Methodist Episcopal church occupied it, and years 
were added thereby to his Episcopal career. John 
R. Mott came down, and was re-invigorated for 
future work. In the winter of 1889 Mrs. Adams 
and I occupied it. Dr. Foster took us several times 
to see his Gee Hammock grove. It was then 12 
years old, and was a beautiful sight with its twenty- 
five acres of stately seedlings. Dr. Foster informed 
us that the grove already had paid for itself, in- 


eluding all items of cost and 8 per cent interest on 
the money invested. That winter he was offered 
$50,000 cash for it, which he refused, believing it 
was more profitable to hold it. The cash returns 
from the two groves the next winter was $20,000, 
but the great freeze came in the winter of 1894-5 
when both groves were killed to the ground. Dr. 
Foster accepted the situation calmly and philo- 
sophically saying, it was the Lord's freeze, and not 
his own carelessness, that did it. When he found 
there was root life from which came suckers, he 
gave both groves the best of care and enrichment. 
Three or four selected suckers were allowed to re- 
main, and in time were headed up into respectable 
trees, but while profitable, they never had the vigor 
and fruitfulness of the old groves. 

When asked if he did not regret his refusal to 
sell out before the fatal freeze Dr. Foster replied: 
"Selling would only have shifted the loss upon 
another. In declining several tempting offers for 
both groves, I tried to use my best judgment, and 
I certainly sought God's direction. I must still feel 
I acted as God would have me." 

A previous problem had been how to ship the fruit 
for the northern market. Sanford was 18 miles dis- 
tant and Jacksonville 143 miles by railroad or over 
200 miles by river. Dr. Foster had contributed the 
lion's share toward a St. John's river steamer to 
ply between Solary's wharf, which was two miles 
distant, and Jacksonville. This was looked upon 
with extreme disfavor by the Sanford interests, and 


the steamer was run on a snag and wrecked on its 
second trip. There were those who attributed the 
accident to Sanford influences. 

A branch line from Sanford of what is now the 
Atlantic Coast Line was projected, and Dr. Foster 
was instrumental in having it come to Oviedo, pass- 
ing the edge of his Gee Hammock grove. His pack- 
ing house adjoined the track, he paying as a bonus 
$3,500, while $1,500 additional bonus secured the 
extensions of the railroad to his Lake Charm grove. 
The maximum freight on a box of oranges from 
Lake Charm to Sanford began at five cents, but 
soon it was raised to eleven cents. A convention 
of orange growers headed by Dr. Foster took the 
matter to the railroad commission at Tallahassee, 
but it availed nothing. Dr. Foster and his asso- 
ciates then organized the "Oviedo, Lake Charm 
and Lake Jessup R. R.", to run to Solary's Wharf 
on Lake Jessup, a distance of two miles, and there 
connecting with the Clyde Line Steamers direct for 
New York. A hundred tons of light rails were 
bought, and the narrow gauge tram road was built. 
The R. R. freight rates were at once reduced, and 
more than that, it so happened the F. C. & P. (now 
the Seaboard) built a branch road from Orlando to 
Lake Charm, which gave the best kind of competi- 
tion, and secured a still further reduction in freight 
rates, changing from 11 cents to Sanford which was 
18 miles distant to 7 cents to Jacksonville which was 
143 miles distant. The rails of the tram-road were 
torn up and sold for old iron, but the reduction in 


freight secured by the tram railway paid the orange 
growers one hundred per cent each year on its 
original cost. Dr. Foster was always a good fighter 
when it came to a contest. 

Several prominent families from the north settled 
at Lake Charm, because of Dr. and Mrs. Foster 
residing there, building homes to front the lake and 
having young orange groves of various sizes in the 
rear. These with some choice southern families who 
lived there constantly made an ideal social com- 
munity. Among these visitors from the north who 
became permanent citizens, were Mr. and Mrs. 
Theodore L. Mead, Mrs. Mead being Mrs. Foster's 
niece. Mr. Mead was a graduate from Cornell 
University, and a great naturalist, aiming to have 
growing on his spacious grounds every known 
variety of plant and vegetable life found in the 
semi-tropical world. He grew to perfection the 
loveliest and rarest orchids. Inside their home were 
several hundred choicest books. Their lives were 
very closely blended with those of Dr. and Mrs. 
Foster each winter. 

It was at Dr. Foster's initiative that the Lake 
Charm Improvement Co. was formed to remove 
the mud and grass around the shores of the Lake 
and to stabilize its level by a bulkhead and fifteen 
inch drain at a cost of $1,500 and to build a cement 
walk around the lake costing $1,200, in each case 
Dr. Foster defraying one-half of the cost as his share. 

Returning to the great revival and its permanent 
results for good, Dr. and Mrs. Foster assumed a 


large responsibility for the building of a Union 
Church for the community, and its proper equip- 
ment including books and papers for its Sabbath 
School. The union church became in time a Baptist 
church, and then Dr. Foster was largely instru- 
mental in building a Methodist Church in Oviedo, 
paying fully one-half of its cost and more than one- 
half of the cost of a parsonage. The society con- 
tinues to this day, with a regularly appointed Pas- 
tor under the care of the Methodist Church South, 
and the edifice bears the name of "The Foster 
Chapel". When south, Dr. Foster always identified 
himself with the Methodist Church South. 

In the care of his extensive groves, Dr. Foster did 
not simply supervise the labor, but taking axe, saw 
and pruning shears he put in solid hours of hard 
work in clearing and shaping the trees to his liking. 
You may ask, with such multiplied activities, where 
did the Doctor's rest come in? Goethe has said: 

"Rest is not quitting the busy career, 
Rest is the fitting of self to its sphere; 
'Tis loving and serving the highest and best, 
'Tis onward unswerving and that is true rest." 

Dr. Foster could not and would not rest in idle- 
ness. He used to talk a great deal about the quiet- 
ing and restful influences of the Florida climate, 
comparing it to a poultice for irritated nerves. 
"Why," said he, "Even her mosquitoes do not bite 
with the vim and suddenness of a northern mos- 


Another element of restfulness realized by Dr. 
and Mrs. Foster, when in Florida, was the great 
love all the people bore them, where their slightest 
suggestion amounted to a command. Their cottage 
was closed nine or ten months each year, and in it 
was, not only furniture, but boats, guns, harnesses, 
saddles and the like, but never was anything stolen. 
During the last weeks of Dr. Foster's life he had an 
inexpressible longing to go to Florida and resting 
on the porch of his cottage to look out upon the 
beautiful oaks and magnolias and then to look down 
upon the lovely lake, but it was not to be. Scenes 
infinitely more beautiful awaited his enraptured 

The annual pilgrimages to Florida for a period 
of one-third of a century were of inestimable value 
to Dr. Foster, not only in adding to his years and 
efficiency in the Sanitarium, but the Sanitarium 
became ultimately the recipient of all the holdings 
and profits Dr. and Mrs. Foster realized during 
their stay in Florida. 



DR. and Mrs. Foster's married life organized it- 
self into a daily plan of helpfulness for the 
people of Clifton Springs. Villagers, who were 
financially straitened, or sick, or bereaved, or un- 
certain as to plans for the future, had free access 
to their home and hearts. Some came to Clifton 
Springs for residence, in order to be near them. 
Dr. and Mrs. Foster's more public enterprises 
grouped around the following: 1st; — the churches; 
2nd ; — the cause of temperance and local prohibi- 
tion; 3rd;- — a school for young women; 4th; — a 
local Y. M. C. A. and public library; 5th; — the 
Foster Hose Co.; 6th; — the Women's Foreign Mis- 
sionary Society of the M. E. Church; 7th; — The 
International Missionary Union. 


Mrs. Foster at her marriage joined by letter the 
Methodist Church at Clifton Springs, where the 
Doctor had been so long and actively identified, and 
their united relation there was always most vital 
and faithful. The gratitude of the church was fit- 


tingly expressed after the Doctor's death by a mural 
tablet near the pulpit, on which are inscribed these 
words: ' In recognition of the loyalty and Christian 
service to this church of Henry Foster, M. D." 
All the churches of the village received from them 
substantial help at various times. When the Bap- 
tists built their church edifice, Dr. Foster gave them 
the lots for their church and parsonage. When the 
Roman Catholics erected their new Church edifice 
in 1895, the Doctor made a substantial contribu- 
tion, and rented a pew in it each year thereafter, 
which custom is continued to the present. Annual 
offerings were made by him to all the Protestant 
churches and that custom is continued to the 


Clifton Springs was full of booze, with its many 
licensed saloons, and frequent exhibitions of drunk- 
enness on the street, until Dr. Foster engaged two 
temperance Evangelists in 1877, one of whom was 
the well known Francis Murphy. They held a series 
of temperance meetings which thoroughly aroused 
the entire community. A Christian Temperance 
Union, to be non-political and non-sectarian, was 
organized, which led a vigorous life for nearly forty 
years. Union temperance meetings were held on 
the second Sabbath evening of each month. In the 
large audiences invariably sat Dr. and Mrs. Foster, 
the Doctor frequently closing the service with a 
ringing appeal. This organization became an in- 
strumentality of great power, for a part of its work 


was an aggressive campaign whenever the excise 
question arose in local politics. Gradually Clifton 
Springs became as well known for its temperance 
principles and activities as it had been formerly for 
its booze. With the introduction of the Raines law 
with its four voting propositions, the Hotel license 
gained a temporary foothold, because of its special 
pleadings and plausible promises, but when it was 
found that this form of license had all the privileges, 
and all the vices of the other three propositions 
combined, judged by practical results, the day of 
Raines Law hotels in Clifton Springs ceased. Clif- 
ton Springs has become one of the most beautiful 
and orderly villages in the state. 

Contributory to all this temperance success, has 
been a local W. C. T. U. which was organized soon 
after the Woman's Crusade in Ohio in 1873, Mrs. 
Dr. Foster being a charter member. A Juvenile 
Temperance organization called "The Loyal Legion" 
was formed soon after the Francis Murphy Cam- 
paign, and over this Mrs. Foster presided with 
marked activity and efficiency for thirty-eight 
consecutive years. The many boys and girls, thus 
trained, became a great temperance asset, not only 
in Clifton Springs, but also in other localities where 
their lot in later life was cast. With one exception, 
Clifton Springs has voted dry at every election 
since the Murphy campaign. 


It was Dr. Foster's ambition, seconded by others, 
to have in Clifton Springs a thoroughly well 


equipped school for young women. It was agreed 
that the healthfulness and beauty of the locality, 
combined with the presence of a Sanitarium, where 
the physical interests of the young women could be 
so wisely cared for, made this an ideal location for 
such a school. It was felt that, as the public school 
of the village had, at that time, no high school de- 
partment, this enterprise would supply a village 
want. Dr. Foster's benevolent and enthusiastic 
nature led him to take hold of the matter vigor- 
ously. Rev. Dr. Geo. Loomis who had retired from 
the presidency of Allegheny College at Meadville, 
Pa , and between whom and Dr. Foster was a close 
bond of friendship, was induced by Dr. Foster's 
very liberal offers, to come and establish the school, 
which Dr. Loomis named "The Foster School". 
Dr. Loomis was an able educator, and the school 
was well patronized, well managed, and well taught. 
The entire Annex building was placed at Dr. 
Loomis' disposal, save what was rented on the 
ground floor for stores. There was a general school 
equipment, including a boarding and rooming de- 
partment. The curriculum was of good grade, and 
day pupils were admitted to the classes. When the 
long summer vacation came, the Sanitarium was 
then in its most crowded condition, and these 
vacated school rooms were filled with Sanitarium 
guests. The life of the school lasted nine years, from 
1876 to June, 1885, when Dr. Loomis died. The 
enterprise was financially costly to Dr. Foster, and, 


with the growth of the Sanitarium, he came to need 
constantly the entire Annex for Sanitarium purposes. 
Later, an experienced educator and his wife 
bought property in Clifton Springs and established 
a boarding school for young women, and a day 
school for both sexes. Dr. Foster in good part 
financed the enterprise, which resulted in his be- 
coming through their voluntary conveyance, the 
owner of the property. This is now used as a home 
for the Sanitarium nurses. 


The Young Men's Christian Association of Clif- 
ton Springs has enjoyed the distinction of being one 
of the most vital and successful village Associations 
in the state, having had an unbroken history from 
1877 to the present. 

In 1877, four young men, employees of the Sani- 
tarium, established a young men's prayer meeting. 
Later, Dr. Foster fitted up a room in the gymnas- 
ium for their use. In July, the growth of members 
and interest was such that an Association to be 
called "The Young Men's Christian Association of 
Clifton Springs," was organized, which became a 
part of the State and National Y. M. C. A. During 
the two years while meetings were held in the gym- 
nasium, it was warmed, lighted and freely kept at 
the disposal of the young men by Dr. Foster. At 
the end of that period, believing they were on firm 
footing, Dr. Foster erected for them, adjoining the 
north side of the Annex, a two story brick building 








I— I 








measuring 84 x 36 feet at a cost of $12,000, and at 
the public dedicatory service, he legally transferred 
it to the Association for its perpetual use and 
benefit. On the first floor is a large library and 
reading room, a parlor and rooms for games, while 
up stairs is a hall capable of seating 300 people, 
which has been used for various purposes, including 
the monthly meetings of the Christian Temperance 
Union. If we add the value of the ground and out- 
lays for various furnishings and improvements, Dr. 
Foster's gift to the Association amounted to $15,000. 

The Library, which is called the Peirce Library 
in honor of its principal donor, Mr. Andrew Peirce, 
is located in the main front room of the Association 
building, the Y. M. C. A. Secretary acting as Librar- 
ian, and is accessible daily not only to the members, 
but, for a nominal consideration, also to the public. 
This choice collection of books for circulation, the 
free reading room with its many periodicals and 
magazines, the use of the Y. M. C. A. room as the 
regularmeetingplaceof various local and benevolent 
societies, the many entertainments, including 
lectures, concerts, receptions, suppers, contests, 
games and the like, have made this a center of 
literary, religious and recreative attraction for the 
good of all citizens and visitors. 

A word should be said of Mr. Peirce. He had 
been the General Manager of a western railroad 
with headquarters at St. Louis, which were removed 
later to New York. In 1877, he came to Clifton 
Springs with his family for the sake of his invalid 


wife. Mr. Peirce and Dr. Foster came into a very 
delightful social intimacy. Mr. Peirce built the 
beautiful pavilion over the main sulphur spring and 
spent months of constant personal supervision in 
filling, beautifying and perfecting the Sanitarium 
grounds, all this, costing him in cash $15,000, he 
presented as a thank offering to Dr. Foster and his 


In July 1883 The Foster Hose Company was 
organized, primarily for the better protection 
against fire of the Sanitarium property, but Dr. 
Foster's word to the company was, "Go, on the 
alarm of fire, to anybody in the village you can 
reach." There were 26 men in the fire company, 
all employees of the Sanitarium. Dr. Foster met 
all the expenses of outfit and uniforms, and all 
deficits in their treasury from time to time, costing 
him from first to last, as told me by the surviving 
charter members, from $5,000 to $6,000. They 
were anxious to wear helmets and Dr. Foster agreed 
to pay the $130 extra cost, if they would all sign the 
temperance pledge, which they did. This company 
has not been excelled in appearance, merit or 
efficiency by any other in this part of the state, and 
they have won several prizes including the cham- 
pionship of western New York. 

Dr Foster was instrumental in the organization 
of the village Fire Department in 1887, but it was 
not until 1896 that the village had a public system 

r tj 
































of water supply, both companies depending until 
then upon the Sanitarium for water, which was 
furnished without charge. 


Another enterprise, enlisting the active sympathy 
and service of Dr and Mrs. Foster, was the 
Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. The general society 
was organized at Boston in 1869. An auxiliary was 
formed at Clifton Springs in 1874, which has had an 
unbroken history of prosperity to the present. 
Clifton Springs has become a center of missionary 
interest and activity. Dr. Foster's invitation to 
foreign Missionaries of all Mission Boards to come 
to the Sanitarium for needed rest and treatment, 
and his concessions as to cost, have brought hun- 
dreds of them here, and whenever our local W. F. 
M. S. had a monthly meeting, it was to be expected 
that a live missionary, fresh from the foreign field, 
would be present to speak. A very pleasant feature 
for the past forty years has been the annual Mis- 
sionary tea meeting on the Foster Cottage lawn, 
which has become a notable social event. Here 
about two hundred persons, many being guests at 
the Sanitarium would gather, and, after a good 
repast prepared by the ladies of the M. E. Church, 
they would listen to two or three spicy five minute 
speeches, when Dr. Foster would take up in his 
inimitable, informal way, the plan of securing funds 
towards making new life members. Every one en- 


joyed it. It was quickly done. The contribution 
amounted to several hundred dollars with prac- 
tically no soliciting, and no denominational lines 
thought of. It was everybody's money. I have the 
list of all the life members thus made, a precious 
document, Episcopalians, Baptists, Presbyterians, 
Congregationalists, Methodists, Lawyers, Physi- 
cians, Clergymen, Missionaries, common folks, 
men, women, children and even babies, all there. 
Dr. and Mrs. Foster started it, but it keeps going. 
Weather permitting, it is always held on the Foster 
lawn. Dr. M. S. Woodbury, the Sanitarium Super- 
intendent, and his wife are the host and hostess now. 
They are Congregationalists, but that makes no 
difference. This is a tradition, an observance, a 
memory, God's work. Dr. and Mrs. Foster started 
the work and lived with it through many decades. 


In 1884 Foreign Missionaries, who were sojourn- 
ing in the United States and Canada, were invited 
by Rev. Dr. J. T. Gracey of Rochester, N. Y., to 
come together at Niagara Falls, Canada, for a week 
of conference for better acquaintance, and, if feas- 
ible, for permanent organization. The call met with 
a most hearty response. Delightful and profitable 
days were spent together, and a permanent organ- 
ization was effected with its appropriate list of 
officers, Dr. Gracey being chosen president, a post 
he held as long as he lived. The second meeting was 
held in early August, 1885, at the same place. The 



is . 














third and the fourth annual meetings were held at 
Thousand Island Park amid the glories and beauties 
of the St. Lawrence River. Each year the interest 
deepened, and notables from far and near came. 
The fifth meeting was held at Bridgeton, N. J. and 
the sixth at Bingham ton, N. Y. I quote from "The 
Index," the official organ of the I. M. U., concern- 
ing the seventh and eighth meetings. 'The seventh 
annual meeting was held at Clifton Springs, June 
11-18, 1890, under the invitation of Dr. Henry 
Foster. During these days, Dr. Foster became so 
impressed with the possibilities of the Union, that 
he extended an invitation to it to make Clifton 
Springs its permanent place of meeting. After 
prayerful consideration of the change of policy from 
itinerating to settled life, this proposal was grate- 
fully accepted." 

"When the Union assembled for its eighth session 
June 9-16, 1891, it found, to its great surprise and 
gratification, that Dr. Foster had erected, for their 
special accommodation, a beautiful Tabernacle, at 
a cost of nearly four thousand dollars, almost wholly 
from his own funds. This was dedicated June 9th, 
a thousand persons participating in the worship of 
the hour. Ninety-two missionaries who had ren- 
dered in the aggregate a thousand years of service 
on foreign mission fields and more than three- 
fourths of whom were expecting to return to render 
further service abroad, beside those newly going to 
the field, made an impressive company." 


It was Dr. Foster's habit whenever he issued an 
invitation, to more than make good every implied 
promise. He was a generous host, sparing nothing 
for the pleasure of his guests. If he could not do it 
in that way, he would not do it at all. This taber- 
nacle is a spacious beautiful structure, 50 x 85 feet, 
with a generous porch on all sides, the sides of the 
building proper being nearly all doors and windows. 
The room, with its spacious platform and 500 opera 
chairs, is lighted at night by electricity. If you 
were there and wished to hear J. Hudson Taylor or 
Dr. Nevius talk of China, or Bishop Penick of 
Africa, or Dr. Eugene P. Dunlap of Siam, or Dr. 
Cyrus Hamlin of Robert College in Turkey, or 
Edgerton Young about his Indians and his dogs in 
northern Canada, or John G. Paton of the New 
Hebrides, and could not get an opera chair, you 
might bring your own and squeeze in on the porch 
or even on the lawn and with every double door 
wide open, you would see and hear it all. 

At the dedication of this tabernacle, June 9th, 
1891, Dr. Foster said, "Ladies and Gentlemen: 
This evening and this occasion marks an era in the 
history of the Clifton Springs Sanitarium. It is the 
welding of another link of the Providential develop- 
ment by which the Institution is coming to the 
largest ability to do the work, and accomplish the 
mission God has given it. The Tabernacle is not 
an afterthought, but a forethought, a rounding up 
and bringing nearer to completeness the plans laid, 
as I think more than forty years ago. Therefore 


you can well understand what I mean, when I say 
that I come to this hour with great gladness and joy. 
If when we mark the steps along the way we think 
God is leading us, and there find success in the com- 
pleteness of any part of the work, though the whole 
may be far from finished, there comes joy and grati- 
tude to God, who doeth the work, giving pleasure 
now and brighter hope in the near future. It is with 
this gratitude to Him, that we come this evening to 
present this Tabernacle to God, to whom it belongs 
and we now present it to Him, for his own purposes, 
for the furthering of His own cause, and the accom- 
plishing of that which he has proposed concerning 
us. Therefore as His I ask the Brethren to dedicate 
this Tabernacle this evening to the worship of 
Almighty God. Let them dedicate it, not only to 
Divine worship in its ordinary acceptation, but to 
all purposes that give promise for the uplifting of 
the race, and the forwarding of the Kingdom of 
Christ among men. 

The response was made at some length by the 
Rev. E. P. Dunlap, of Siam. 

Dr. Foster lived to enjoy nine more annual 
gatherings of the International Missionary Union 
in this Tabernacle. Each year he gave, in the most 
hearty manner the words of welcome, playfully 
inviting them to scrub and get clean and to eat to 
their fill. 

He greatly enjoyed these occasions, so full of 
mental stimulus, and of closest spiritual fellowship. 
He dearly loved these missionaries whose heroic 


type of consecration to God was so akin to his own. 
He was not without the belief that the annual 
gathering of such a body of foreign missionaries 
would be a great blessing to the Sanitarium, in 
deepening its own spiritual life and in defining more 
closely its religious aims and purposes. The mis- 
sionaries paid Dr. Foster great reverence, for he 
towered among them as a great prince in Israel. I 
remember well his leadership of the 9 a. m. Sabbath 
service in 1898. It was masterful. His theme was 
Consecration, a thought with which he lived daily. 
His words were weighty, illuminating, inspiring, 
and back of the words was the man himself. At the 
farewell meeting on the following Tuesday evening, 
Dr. Foster spoke as the practical Physician, sane 
and prudent, rebuking the fanatacism that will 
allow Missionaries to violate physical laws because 
engaged in holy work. "In order that you may do 
good work," said he, "you must take care of your 
health. It is not necessary that missionaries break 
down as they do. God has made good food for 
different climates. Be careful that you have it. 
Keep your houses in good sanitary condition. Do 
your part, and God will do his. You are under laws, 
and the Master sometimes says to you, as to the 
Disciples of old, "Come ye apart and rest awhile." 
Remember you are not a machine." 

During the ten years of Dr. Foster's participation 
in these annual missionary meetings, he was always 
the same magnificent host. Yet he left nothing in 
writing instructing the Trustees of the Sanitarium 



as to invitations after his decease. It was his plan 
to leave them entirely free to act from year to year 
as future conditions and circumstances might deter- 
mine. As a matter of fact, they have repeated the 
invitation each year to the present time. The 
Tabernacle was built not only for the Missionary 
gatherings but to be put to varied uses for the better 
accommodation both of the Sanitarium and of the 
village. These Missionary gatherings have been a 
great inspiration to the people of Clifton Springs. 
Immense audiences have gathered, especially for 
the platform meetings in the evening and on the 



THE Chapel, which has held such an important 
place during the life of the Sanitarium, had 
its humble beginning in Dr. Foster's medical office, 
where he conducted daily morning prayers and 
other religious services. Soon the office was too 
small for the attendance, and the parlor was used 
until the east wing of the brick building was erected 
in 1856, which had its complete chapel equipment 
with pulpit, pipe organ, and one hundred and sixty 
six opera chairs, besides sufficient room for couches, 
settees and wheel chairs. This, for forty years, was 
the sacred place, full of hallowed memories for 
literally thousands of people. Until about 1864 
Dr. Foster was the priest of the household. Occas- 
ionally a sermon was preached by a visiting clergy- 
man. Dr. Foster's Bible class met in the Chapel 
each Sabbath at 1 :30 p. m. — a seemingly impossible 
hour, following closely after morning preaching and 
a full dinner, but it prospered. For one thing, the 
guests were not yet scattered to their rooms to 
enjoy an afternoon siesta. Several clergymen 
officiated as chaplain for brief periods between 1864 
and 1870, among whom may be mentioned Rev. 













Dr. F. G. Hibbard, Rev. Rawlinson of Michigan, 
and Rev. Lewis Hartsough, who were Methodists, 
and the Rev. Dr. S. J. Humphrey, a Congregational 
minister of Chicago. I am told that Dr. Humphrey 
made a very careful compilation of remarkable an- 
swers to prayer which Dr. Foster experienced du- 
ing the time of our Civil War, which unfortunately 
has not been preserved. In 1870 Rev. Lewis Bod- 
well, a Congregational minister from Kansas, came 
with his invalid wife, and was the Chaplain for 
twenty-four years, when a fatal malady caused his 
death in 1894. During Mr. Bodwell's illness and 
for a time subsequent, Rev. C. H. James, a Baptist 
clergyman, officiated. Following him, Rev. J. Q. 
Adams, D. D., a Presbyterian minister, now a 
member of Auburn Theological Seminary, served 
for nearly four years. I followed him in 1898, and 
was chaplain for seventeen years, until July, 1915. 
The present incumbent is the Rev. A. B. Richard- 
son, D. D. Dr. Foster's absorbing interest in the 
chapel was doubly rooted. As a consecrated Chris- 
tian, his vow to build a house which should be in 
the fullest sense God's house, called for it. As a 
physician, he wished it for its medical value. It is 
not often that the medical and religious errands of 
chapel services are combined, but they were with 
him. Many, who rely on spiritual agencies for 
healing the body, insist that all physical means and 
remedies must be discarded, and many skilled physi- 
cians fail to recognize the therapeutic value of reli- 
gious faith and prayer. Sir Oliver Lodge, an eminent 


English Scientist of modern times, has said, "You 
might almost as well try to cure disease by prayer 
without treatment, as try to cure it by treatment 
without prayer. You must use both." Dr. Foster 
put the same thought in these words: "The Lord 
Jesus Christ is the real healer. No pathy — hydro- 
pathy, allopathy, homeopathy, electropathy, or any 
other pathy, ever healed a man. That is, it is the 
work of the wise Physician to put the human being, 
by personal cleansing and in other ways, in harmony 
with the ordinary laws of life and health, to be in 
the proper position to get well. But the Divine 
power alone can heal, no matter whether it is direct- 
ly or through means applied." "The chapel, then," 
added Dr. Foster, "is the heart center of the Sani- 
tarium, and here many a patient has claimed to 
have received fresh accessions of spiritual life which 
have reacted upon his physical nature and promoted 
his return to health and strength." Dr. Foster be- 
lieved not only in the reflex value of Christian faith 
upon the vital organism, but also that prayer to God 
was a force in nature, as real as the law of gravita- 
tion. In harmony with this belief, he appointed, 
very early in the history of the water cure, each 
Monday evening as the set time for intercessory 
prayer, covering a variety of interests, but mainly 
for physical healing. Requests in writing were 
presented by guests or their friends or by physicians 
and in many instances were mailed from various 
parts of our country, and even from across the seas. 
Gradually a prayer league was formed, composed 


of former guests, covenanting to spend from 7 to 8 
each Monday evening in prayer, wherever their 
residence might be, thus keeping in sympathetic 
union and fellowship with the chapel services. 
This number ran into the hundreds, including a 
long list of missionaries in foreign fields. The re- 
sults of the Monday night meetings for intercessory 
prayer have been marvellous, but no tabulation of 
cases has ever been made. While Dr. Foster was 
eminent as a physician and business manager, yet 
the crowning glory of his life was in his religious 
character and work. He held no office of Church or 
State. He was simply a Christian layman, but his 
large Bible Class each Sabbath afternoon attended 
by lawyers, judges, college presidents and pro- 
fessors, bishops and clergymen, showed him to be 
the masterful leader. An Episcopal clergyman said 
to me: "While we participated, we literally sat at 
his feet, listening to his words of spiritual wisdom 
and interpretation." Dr. Foster was a painstaking 
and profound Bible student. He was especially 
happy in summarizing all that had been said in the 
Bible class, and in driving home the central thought 
of the hour. 

Until his later years, he led all the prayer meet- 
ings in the chapel, unless prevented by serious ill- 
ness or necessary absence, and in those days there 
were three, besides the women's meeting led by 
Mrs. Foster, which met each Saturday evening. 
The one on Wednesday evening was of a general 
character, and the Friday evening meeting was 


devoted to a deeply spiritual study of the Inter- 
national Sunday School lesson for the coming Sab- 
bath. You may ask why there were so many prayer 
meetings. It was Dr. Foster's way, and they pros- 
pered. He put no requirement of attendance upon 
guests, but upon the physicians and their wives the 
requirement was definite. He felt that a house 
divided against itself could not stand, and there- 
fore those associated with him in chief service must 
share his spirit and aims. In his selection of physi- 
cians he felt there was no incompatibility between 
being a first class physician and at the same time 
a first class Christian, and, while he would not 
sacrifice the one for the other, he believed, if he 
looked far enough, he could find the happy com- 
bination. This he steadfastly sought. 

After the employment of a salaried chaplain, he 
no longer said grace at meals, or led in morning 
prayers, save as he took his turn along with the 
other physicians in leading them on a specified date 
each month. He never let any ordinary duty keep 
him from chapel. He was proverbially there on 
time, and usually a little before time. 

In 1880 I was brought on a bed to the Sanitarium 
from Chicago, where I had served Methodist 
churches for several years, and I was under Dr. 
Foster's personal care. When able, I attended an 
evening prayer meeting and saw several ladies 
lying upon couches placed near the pulpit. Later, 
I asked Dr. Foster why that custom. Said he, "I 
encourage it, and its results are good. We bid them 


relax utterly, absorb without conscious effort the 
spirit of the meeting, and they get from it a better 
hold upon themselves and a stronger faith in God." 
I found soon, that, during the prayer meeting hour, 
everything else stopped, save Cyrus Linton, the 
Clerk, who kept a weather eye out for fresh arrivals, 
and John Dewey, the faithful old Cashier, who was 
chewing his lips as he footed up his totals; but the 
big parlor and corridors were vacated. Even the 
elevator stopped running during the prayer meeting 
hour, and, during my twelve months stay, that rule 
for the elevators obtained without exception. Grad- 
ually, as the life of the house grew more complex, 
and a training school for nurses was established, the 
rule for the elevators was relaxed. 

Dr. Foster as the leader of a religious service pos- 
sessed a remarkable combination of gifts. He was 
a born leader; he commanded and held your fixed 
attention; his own soul was aglow, and his mind 
was richly stored with well prepared thoughts upon 
the theme of the hour. In his talks he was brief, 
direct, often pungent, always convincing. He held 
you; he absorbed you. He awoke responsiveness in 
you, and before you had the opportunity you wished 
to take a part. In prayer he was most reverent, 
deliberately kneeling on both knees before begin- 
ning, and then his opening words were of adoration, 
"We adore Thee, Heavenly Father." His God was 
a great God. 

I have heard men pray like nimble jacks, begin- 
ning to pray while taking a bodily position, and 


talking to God as though he were a familiar chum 
living just around the corner. Not so with Dr. 
Foster. There was a stateliness about his prayers. 
The prayer he offered at the dedication of the pres- 
ent Chapel in 1896, reminds one of King Solomon's 
prayer at the dedication of the Jewish Temple. In 
1902 Fleming H. Revell Company published a book 
entitled "Life Secrets," "Spiritual Insights of a 
Christian Physician by Henry Foster, M. D., com- 
piled and arranged by Theodora Crosby Bliss." It 
is arranged topically, each topic with its sub-topics, 
thus furnishing a fine compilation of the Doctor's 
teachings, but to know his power in the chapel, you 
need his living personality, the occasion, the atten- 
tive listeners, the circumstantial setting, and the 
felt presence of the Holy Spirit. 

I will quote from a few paragraphs to give you an 
idea of the Doctor's way of putting things. 

"Whether God immediately raises the sick one to 
health in answer to prayer, or whether he does it in 
His ordinary way through blessing the means, no 
matter if it be in five months or five years, it is pre- 
cisely the same with Him. It is the work of God. 
He uses law — the law of our physique, the energy 
of our will, and the uplift of our imagination. He 
lays hold upon every faculty for the development 
of our being." 

"I think we have the warrant in our possession 
that prayer is introduced as one of the forces in 
God's government, as positively as is the force of 
gravitation, stronger than light or heat, exalted 


above all. He has set prayer to lay hold upon, and 
control all other forces, and move them to bring 
honor to Himself and blessing to the race." 

In speaking of the use of feeble things, Dr. Foster 
said, ' 'Those members of the body which seem to 
be more feeble are necessary. This is an illustration 
of the principle by which God chooses His instru- 
mentalities. The right arm or leg of a strong man 
is not as necessary as one secreting gland, because 
a man may live and work without his arm or leg, 
but remove that gland, he dies. Here is the prin- 
ciple that God brings before us. He? takes? feeble 
ones to do his work. Going past the self-conceited 
man, He touches by His grace and spirit a feeble 
woman on a bed of sickness, not able to leavefher 
room, bed-ridden for years, yet able to smile upon 
the visitor and to point such to Jesus." 

Speaking of service, he said "In our little sphere 
we cannot reach the world, but we can reach just 
so far as we ourselves touch humanity. It is not 
the much we may have, or the much we may do. It 
is not the performance of great things in this world 
at all, but simply the daily living, not for ourselves 
alone, but for Christ and those around us." 

In speaking of the mystery of life, he said: 
"Wherever we turn we come face to face with 
mystery, not in our religion alone, but in every- 
thing. Our very being is a mystery that taxes any 
human intellect. What God asks us to do is to 
accept the condition that we are in a world of mys- 
tery, believing that what is now beyond our com- 


prehension, shall be solved by and by. In the 
rounds of the eternal life we shall come to know 
more and more of God and His ways — so if we do 
not understand today we need not be discouraged. 
Enough that we are to have through eternity some- 
thing that shall be sweet employment." 

Often the Doctor put great thoughts into very 
few words. Here are a few sample nuggets. 

"It takes more time and patience for God to fit 
us to receive blessings, than it does for Him to 
bestow them." 

"The person who attempts to set a watch on his 
lips, trying to gag them, is always beaten. He 
would better go to the root of the matter, and have 
the Holy Spirit control the thoughts before they 
are formed in the brain." 

"We are God's promoters; when He has a scheme 
on hand, He looks around and chooses the one best 
fitted to do the work." 

"Work never hurt anyone; work is one of the 
conditions of long life and happiness." 

No foe can cross the protecting circle of the 
Everlasting arm. "This is my child," says Jehovah 
to every adversary, "thus far shalt thou come but 
no farther." 

"Faith is the receiving agent of the soul, as the 
hand is of the body." 

There is a small volume of 70 pages, published by 
the Willard Tract Repository of Boston, copy- 
righted by Charles Cullis, of Boston, in 1887, en- 


titled "Chapel Talks," by Henry Foster, M. D., 
which has this preface: 

"For many years hungry souls have been fed on 
heavenly bread in the chapel of the Sanitarium at 
Clifton Springs. These pages are crumbs from the 
Gospel feast. The "Talks" were given by Dr. 
Foster during the spring months of 1882 and 1884. 
They were reported from memory, as nearly ver- 
batim as possible, by a temporary resident of the 
Sanitarium. The only thought in preserving them 
was personal benefit; but so great has been the help 
derived from these suggestive words, that it seemed 
best to publish them with the prayer that the Holy 
Spirit, who has so signally blessed them in the past, 
will use them still further in his glorious work as 
Teacher of the Truth." E. G. I. 

The contents of the little book comprise 21 chap- 
ters, as follows: The Great Deliverer; Spiritual 
Vision; Prevailing Prayer; Spiritual Insight; Fruit 
Bearing; The Eye of the Soul; As a Little Child; 
The Living Word; The Divine Forethought; God 
Our Helper; The Rich Young Man; Chastening 
Prayer; Consecration; The Christian Warfare; 
Christian Service; The Rest of Faith; Abraham's 
Call; Justification by Faith; The Widow's Mite; 
The Covenant of Jehovah. 

I have named these topics to show how simple, 
spiritual, practical and varied were his messages. 
His statements were absolutely clear, and he never 
left one befogged as to his meaning. He abominated 
vagaries and dreamy speculations. Whether the 


mental trip was by rail, water or air, he always 
landed you on terra firma. It was his habit to 
think things out very patiently, but w T hen he came 
to a conclusion — and he always came to one finally 
— they were very fixed. He was very free and some 
times even playful in leadership of a service, and 
he called out table talk responses all over the room. 

One of the beauties of the chapel has been its 
purely interdenominational spirit and life. Dr. 
Foster insisted upon this. He established the cus- 
tom that the Holy Sacrament should be adminis- 
tered every month, the form for one month being 
that used by Episcopalians and Methodists, and 
alternating the next time with the form observed 
by Presbyterians and others. I counted one Sab- 
bath morning when we had the kneeling form, 
twenty-six religious bodies represented by those 
partaking. Following the public service the Chap- 
lain always administered the rite privately in their 
rooms to those requesting it. In the early eighties, 
an informal song service was started in the parlor 
each Sabbath evening directly after tea. This be- 
came so popular that it was moved to the corridor 
and later to the chapel, and for many years has 
formed an unbroken part of the evening service. 
Dr. Foster established the rule, and it still obtains, 
that no religious service in the chapel shall exceed 
one hour. 

As I have written this chapter, there has rushed 
upon me a flood of memories, sacred, hallowed, 
precious. In the furnishings of the chapel now, are 


three memorial gifts for Dr. Foster. In the south- 
east corner are two bronze tablets erected to the 
memory of Dr. and Mrs. Foster by grateful em- 
ployees; in the southwest corner is a beautiful pipe 
organ costing nearly $3500. This was installed 
soon after Dr. Foster's death in loving memory of 
him. Lest it should be heavily over-subscribed, it 
was stipulated that no one could give more than 
five dollars. Behind the pulpit is a magnificent 
large mosaic, representing Christ's institution of 
the Lord's Supper, at the particular moment when 
he said, "One of you shall betray me." It reminds 
one of Da Vinci's famous work, having the long 
table, but the Disciples are differently grouped with 
different faces and costumes and with a radically 
different interpretation of Judas Iscariot. This is 
an original; the cartoon was furnished by Mr. Fred- 
erick Wilson, an American artist, and was repro- 
duced in its present form by the Tiffany Glass and 
Decorating Co., of New York. They placed it on 
exhibition at the Columbian Exposition in Buffalo, 
and at its close, installed it in the Clifton Springs 
Sanitarium Chapel, at the call of Mr. and Mrs. M. 
M. Buck, of St. Louis, who purchased it and pre- 
sented it as a memorial gift to Dr. Foster. The 
lettering reads: 

"To Thee, O Lord, be the Glory forever." 

In Memory of Dr. Henry Foster, 

Born Jan. 18, 1821. 

Died Jan. 15, 1901. 

By his friends, Mr. and Mrs. M. M, Buck. 




On Jan. 18, 1901, the casket, containing the 
mortal remains of Henry Foster, was tenderly 
borne by chosen employees from this Chapel to the 
village cemetery for interment, but many have felt 
that his spirit yet lingers around this sacred, con- 
secrated spot which he so dearly loved. 


















ON November 1, 1881, Dr. and Mrs. Foster 
executed a Warranty Deed conveying to the 
Clifton Springs Sanitarium Co. the entire Sanitar- 
ium plant, with all its equipment, to be held in 
trust forever for certain purposes and upon certain 
conditions named. The conveyance included the 
Cottage property subject to Mrs. Foster's life estate 
and the entire Foster Block subject to an indebted- 
ness of $35,000. The deed covered also, all water 
supply, Fire insurance for $160,000, and insurance 
of $52,000 upon the Doctor's life, which yielded 
$69,000 at his death as he had allowed the annual 
dividends to buy added insurance. Later, Dr. 
Foster added the Sanitarium farm of about 350 
acres with all its stock, machinery and other 
belongings. The consideration named in the con- 
veyance was, the authority conferred upon Dr. 
Foster by several acts of the State Legislature, to 
carry out an intention formed in 1850, of presenting 
this property as an acknowledgment of the Divine 
favor, which had blessed and prospered his efforts. 
The Deed provided for a self-perpetuating Board 
of thirteen Trustees to administer the Trust, five 


of whom should be elected by the Board and eight 
holding Trusteeship by virtue of their office, as 
follows: A Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, appointed by the Board of Bishops of that 
Church; the Bishop of the Diocese of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, embracing Western New York. 

Six Foreign Missionary Secretaries, one from 
each of the following Boards: The American Board 
of Commissioners; The American Baptist Mission- 
ary Union; Presbyterian; Methodist Episcopal; 
Reformed Church in America, and a member of the 
Committee of the Protestant Epicsopal. 

The public was greatly impressed by the muni- 
ficence of this gift, and it received generous notice 
from both the secular and religious press of the land. 
It was known that this was the private property of 
the donors, but it was not commonly known, that 
the conveyance was but the consummation of a 
cherished plan dating back through three decades. 

An examination of four Acts of the Legislature 
of the State of New York will make this matter 

The first act, passed April 5th, 1854, recited that 
Henry Foster and his associates in said Institution 
were duly constituted a body corporate, by the 
name of the Clifton Springs Water Cure Company, 
with requisite powers to maintain and enlarge it. 
The reader will recall how Henry Foster bought out 
the other stockholders between 1856 and 1864. 

The second Act, passed July 22, 1867, recited that 
the said Henry Foster was the exclusive owner of 


the capital stock, and all the assets of the said cor- 
poration, and, as such, was the beneficial owner of 
all the property real and personal, and that the said 
Henry Foster designed to create a permanent trust 
of the said property, and of all his interest therein. 
The purpose of this trust was, that the income of 
said property, after devoting a proper amount for 
the maintenance and betterment of the Water 
Cure, enlarging from time to time the Institution 
as needed, and perfecting its equipments, shall all 
be applied to the free keep and care in said Institu- 
tion, or at reduced rates, of evangelical clergymen, 
when coming for needed care, if indigent or not 
fully able to meet the bills. The same rule should 
apply to members of their families under like con- 
ditions, and also to church communicants in good 
standing who are in like straitened circumstances 
and need such treatment, always giving a prefer- 
ence to ministers and their families. 

The Act further recited, that in order to accom- 
plish the purposes of such trust, it is necessary that 
such Infirmary should be made a permanent insti- 
tution, and that such trust should be made a per- 
manent trust, and that the Corporation may en- 
large its holdings and benefits through grants and 
the like. 

Also that the said Henry Foster may transfer 
grant and convey the said property to the Clifton 
Springs Water Cure Company, to be held in trust 
by them for the purposes prescribed by the said 
Henry Foster. 


The Act further prescribes, 

That after the said Henry Foster shall have 
executed said conveyance, Trustees shall be ap- 
pointed, with requisite powers to discharge their 
duties in accordance with the conditions and terms 
presented by the said Henry Foster, and agreed to 
by the Trustees. 

For body of this Act see Laws of 1867, Ch. 973. 

The third act of the Legislature, passed May 10, 
1871, changed the name of said Corporation from 
"The Clifton Springs Water Cure Co." to 'The 
Clifton Springs Sanitarium Co," and ordered that 
all the provisions of the Act of July 22, 1867, should 
apply to said Institution under its new name. 

The fourth Act of the Legislature, passed early 
in 1881, provided that the Trustees should be cer- 
tain persons thereafter named by Henry Foster in 
his conveyance. 

These four Acts constituted the legal considera- 
tion making valid the conveyance of Nov. 1, 1881, 
and defining its fundamental aims and requirements. 
The full text of the Deed of Trust is lengthy, but 
a digest or outline of its essential features, will be 
of interest. 

The original Board of Trustees were: Two Bish- 
ops, Matthew Simpson, of the M. E. Church, and 
Arthur Cleveland Coxe, of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church. 

Six Foreign Missionary Secretaries: 
Dr. N. G. Clark of the American Board. 
Dr. John M. Reid of the Methodist Board. 


Dr. J. N. Murdock of the Baptist Board. 
Dr. F. F. Ellinwood of the Presbyterian Board. 
Dr. John Cotton Smith of the Episcopal Board. 
Dr. John M. Ferris of the Dutch Reformed Board. 

Dr. Anderson, President of Rochester University. 
Dr. Shaw, Pastor of the Brick Presbyterian Church, 

Judge J. C. Smith of Canandaigua. 
Mr. Andrew Peirce, and 
Mr. William Foster, both of Clifton Springs. 

To these thirteen Trustees was added Dr. George 
Loomis, President of the Foster School in Clifton 
Springs, with the proviso he should have no suc- 

This was a strong, representative body of men, 
with broad vision, ripened experiences, interdenom- 
inational spirit and naturally close sympathies with 
Dr. Foster's relig ous and philanthropic aims. 

The Board was to have general control of the 
Institution, except the matters expressly vested in 
the Superintendent or Chief Physician. They could 
make by-laws, appoint committees, purchase and 
sell real estate, and contract debts upon the credit 
of the Corporation, only the aggregate indebtedness 
at any one time should not exceed $20,000, not 
reckoning the existing debt of $35,000. 

They must appoint a Superintendent, and might 
if they deemed it necessary, appoint a Treasurer, 
his doings and accounts being subject to their 


supervision, and his books and papers should at all 
times, be open to their inspection. 

Dr. Foster's plan in having an Attorney of high 
rank on the Board has been closely followed, in hav- 
ing as successor of Judge Smith, Judge Adams, and 
later Judge Robeson, both of Canandaigua, and now 
Judge Sutherland of Rochester, for valuable legal 
counsel and guidance. 

It was the judgment of the Board, that as soon 
as vacancies occurred among the elective Trustees, 
Dr. and Mrs. Foster should be chosen, and that 
was done. All the Trustees readily accepted their 
responsibilities, and were faithful in attendance. 
They diverted him from his daily rounds of calling 
upon the sick, to a more exclusive attention to 
business, especially of planning and supervising 
new construction. The first President of the Board 
was Bishop Matthew Simpson. They were to re- 
ceive no compensation for their services beyond 
their expenses. 

In addition to the care of the property, they were 
to have the general supervision of the management 
of the Institution, meeting from its receipts all 
expenses of maintenance and upkeep, and also of 
all needed betterments. They were to pay off an 
existing indebtedness of $35,000 resting upon the 
Foster Block or Annex, and to provide a sinking 
fund of $50,000 which, together with the proceeds 
of fire insurance policies, should constitute a fund 
for rebuilding the Institution in case it was de- 
stroyed by fire or otherwise. Meanwhile, this 

THE rk 




~l 1. 














$50,000 should be treated as an endowment fund, 
the interest thereon to be applied toward the sup- 
port of the Institution. All the capacity of the 
Sanitarium, beyond the requirements named might 
be used for eleemosynary purposes, by taking pa- 
tients at reduced rates, or gratuitously, according 
to the following conditions: 

Beneficiaries shall be one of the following classes: 

(1). Missionaries, and their families, who are 
dependent upon their salaries for support. (2). 
Ministers of the Gospel, and their families, who 
are dependent on their salaries for support. (3). 
Teachers, and indigent Church members, who are 
unable to pay the prices of the institution. 

Preference shall be given to the several classes 
in the order above named. 

The institution is not designed to be a home for 
incurables, or a boarding house for the poor or sick, 
but is intended to confer its benefits upon those 
persons of the classes above named, who are sick, 
and who need the treatment afforded by the insti- 
tution, to enable them to resume their work in their 
respective occupations above named, as soon as 

The number of beneficiaries, their length of stay 
in the institution, the rates to be paid by them (if 
any), and also rates to be paid by full-paying 
patients, are to be determined by a majority vote 
of the medical corps of all the physicians, actually 
employed in said institution as hereinafter provided, 
subject to the approval of the Trustees. In the 


future, as has been the practice in the past, Chris- 
tian missionaries or ministers, and their families, 
and teachers and their families, boarding elsewhere, 
may receive medical treatment in the institution 
gratuitously, or at reduced rates. The rates which 
they shall pay (if any), and the length of time they 
shall receive treatment, shall be determined by a 
majority of the medical corps, as heretofore stated, 
subject to the approval of the Trustees. 

One section of the Deed of Trust reads: "I wish 
the institution to follow the custom, by which it 
has grown and prospered, of giving, annually, under 
the direction of the Board of Trustees or its Execu- 
tive Committee, donations to worthy objects, such 
as, each of the six Missionary Societies represented 
in the Board of Trustees, the American Bible So- 
ciety, and the Young Men's Christian Association. 
Also, to continue the rental of three pews in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, at Clifton Springs, 
for the use of the patients of the institution, at the 
price of two hundred dollars a year, from which is 
to be deducted the annual gas bill of the Church." 

"chief physician and superintendent" 

These two terms represent the one appointed by 
the Trustees as head of the institution; but while 
the designation is two fold, they mean one and the 
same person. 

The one so appointed must have been on the 
Medical Staff of the institution for at least twelve 
months, in order to be eligible for election, and he 


must be in hearty sympathy with the spirit and 
design of the institution. 

This is the wording: "Whenever a vacancy shall 
occur in the office of Chief Physician, or it shall 
become necessary to make a change in said office, 
such officer shall be elected by the Board of Trustees 
from the Medical Staff of the institution, or he 
shall be a person who has had at least one year's 
practice in the institution and has become thor- 
oughly familiar with its life and the details of its 
working, and he shall be also one who is in hearty 
sympathy with the spirit and design of the institu- 
tion in its past history." 

The Deed of Trust (p. 101) recites that the Chief 
Physician, with the approval of the Trustees, shall 
appoint the heads of the several departments of 
the institution, who shall be responsible to him for 
all details, but all questions that may arise therein, 
and in the matter of suspending or dismissing un- 
worthy physicians, or filling vacancies on the Med- 
ical Staff, the Treasurer shall be associated with him. 

As to the qualifications of physicians, this is the 
language: "It is my wish that the Medical Depart- 
ment be conducted upon the most liberal and sci- 
entific principles, always seeking the highest good 
of the patient, morally and physically. 

"To that end, I require that no physician shall 
be employed in the institution who is not a regular 
graduate of some reputable Medical College. Also 
that each physician shall be a consistent, working 
Christian, seeking to exert a wholesome influence 


in social and professional life among the patients. 

"A sufficient corps of physicians is to be em- 
ployed, at all times, to perform the medical work 
of the institution, one of whom must be a female 

As to the use of a Chapel and employment of a 
Chaplain, this is the language: "I require the Trus- 
tees to maintain, warm and furnish a chapel, in 
such a manner that it shall be comfortable and 
appropriate for the purposes of social religious con- 
ference and formal public worship. 

''I require that the Trustees shall employ a 
Chaplain who shall be a'n ordained clergyman of 
some Protestant Christian denomination. 

"The Chaplain must be able to accept, and make 
the foundation of his public preaching and private 
instruction, those views of Christian doctrine or- 
dinarily known as 'Evangelical'. By the term 
'Evangelical', I understand such confessions of faith 
as the thirty-nine articles of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the United States of America, and 
the Heidelberg Catechism teach in common, with- 
out regard to those points of doctrinal detail and 
laws of church organization and discipline which 
such confessions may contain. I do not wish, how- 
ever, that such Chaplain shall separate himself from 
the communion and disciplinary control of the 
church to which he may belong, but only that he 
shall limit himself in his work as Chaplain of the 
Sanitarium among the patients of various denom- 
inations, by the general conditions above expressed. 


I direct that he devote his entire time to the pro- 
motion of the moral and religious culture of the 
patients, seeking by his labor, to promote that re- 
ligious faith and trust which, in the history of this 
institution, have been found so useful in the restora- 
tion of mental and bodily health. To this end, I 
wish him to maintain and preside over social meet- 
ings for prayer and religious conference; to conduct 
a class for the study of the Scriptures of the Old 
and New Testaments, and to provide by himself 
or some other proper person for a service, with a 
sermon, twice on each Sunday in the year, for the 
moral and doctrinal tone of which he shall be re- 
sponsible to the Trustees. In case of any distinctly 
marked departure, in teaching or conduct, from the 
conditions above named, he shall be liable to re- 
moval by the Trustees. 

"It is my intention and desire that the religious 
services, herein provided for, shall be simple, prac- 
tical, brief, and pointed, so that no undue strain 
shall be put upon the mental or bodily strength of 
the patients. To secure this end, the number and 
length of such exercises, apart from the public 
services on Sunday, shall be controlled by the Chief 

"I desire that the religious exercises, thus pro- 
vided for, shall be conducted as far as possible, in 
harmony with the system, aims and spirit of the 
Founder of this institution, and observed during 
his life and administration." 


Having served as Chaplain in the Sanitarium 
seventeen years (1898-1915) the writer desires to 
add the following: 

The pastoral opportunities afforded any minister 
of the gospel are nowhere better than the Chaplain 
finds in the Clifton Springs Sanitarium. If he is 
tactful and anointed of God, he is gladly welcomed 
by the sick. Their hearts are hungry for his minis- 
tration, not all alike, but there is a high average. 
And why not? Weak, suffering, discouraged, lonely, 
facing they know not what, they would scarcely be 
human, if they did not give him a wide open door 
to their hearts. Those seventeen years of mine are 
crowded with most delightful memories. I would 
gladly rehearse them, but that is not the errand of 
this book. I say this much for two purposes. First 
to certify the medical wisdom, and the business 
wisdom also, of Dr. Foster's plan in providing so 
fully for a Chapel and a Chaplain. Second, to say 
that the Chaplain's success is largely dependent 
upon the earnest cooperation of each one on the 
Medical Staff. 

The Chaplain's official position is somewhat pe- 
culiar. He is not the head of a department, for 
there is no one under him, and he can make no 
rules, save as to the conduct of the services. The 
Sabbath services are defined in the Deed of Trust. 
All other services are determined by the Chief 
Physician as to frequency and length, but the Chief 
Physician cannot appoint the Chaplain, for he is 
chosen by the full Board of Trustees at their an- 


nual meeting, and they determine his length of stay 
and fix his salary, which is paid from the general 

It is of the utmost importance that there be a 
very close personal and working fellowship between 
the Chaplain and Chief Physician. 

Knowing that circumstances and conditions 
would change with passing years, Dr. Foster wisely 
provided that the Trustees, by presenting a written 
petition of all their number then in office might 
amend, alter or rescind any of the provisions of the 
Deed of Trust, or add new ones thereto, so far as 
they relate to any matter not affecting the funda- 
mental nature and object of the trust. 

The closing part of the Deed of Trust reads: "If 
it shall happen that the Sanitarium, in its manage- 
ment, shall be diverted from the spirit and letter of 
this instrument, or shall be prostituted to private 
and selfish interests, it shall be the duty of the 
Trustees to close the institution, sell the property 
for cash, or on reasonable credit, and divide the 
amount received therefor, together with the en- 
dowment funds of the institution, equally among 
the several missionary societies represented in the 
Board of Trustees, to be used by the said societies, 
respectively, for foreign missions, and in such case 
for the purpose of enforcing this condition, an ac- 
tion may be maintained, in any Court of competent 
jurisdiction, by the Attorney General in the name 
of the people of the State, or by the missionary 
societies herein above mentioned, jointly, to wind 


up the said corporation and distribute its assets as 
herein above provided." 

Such is the Deed of Trust dated Nov. 1, 1881, 
and altered by agreement of the parties July 9, 1891. 
This Deed of Trust was the crowning feature of Dr. 
Foster's work. This defined, and gave perpetuity, 
to his life and aims. For this he had toiled thirty- 
one years that he might bring the institution to 
that stage of maturity and strength where this 
could be done. This mapped out the spirit and 
aims of the Sanitarium for all the future. 



THIS chapter is designed to cover such items of 
special interest in the last twenty years of Dr. 
Foster's life as are not presented in other chapters. 
Throughout, I have chosen to follow the topical, 
rather than the strictly chronological order; for in- 
stance, his life in Florida, embracing a few weeks 
each year for a third of a century, is all presented 
in one chapter. In general the smoothest, sunniest 
years of Dr. Foster's life were from 1880 to 1890. 
He was elderly, but not old; well and strong enough 
for his tasks and reaping the fruits of long years of 
service. In his early life he was opposed and well 
nigh ostracised by many; now he was loved and 
revered by all. The Deed of Trust made a profound 
impression upon the general public, and his self 
sacrificing spirit and holy purposes were under- 
stood and appreciated as never before. Represen- 
tatives of the press, both religious and secular, 
seemed very fond in those days of writing up an 
extended account of the Sanitarium. Guests ar- 
ranged pleasant surprises for Dr. Foster. One night 
they hung him. They wished a life sized oil por- 
trait of him, which should become the property of 


the Sanitarium. Funds came promptly from former 
guests living in thirteen different states. On Tues- 
day evening, August 21st, 1888, the portrait was 
unveiled. The crowd was there. Senator A. G. 
Cattell of New Jersey made the presentation speech, 
in which he said,"It is an open secret, known to you 
all, that we are here tonight to witness the hanging 
of Dr. Foster within these walls. He has been tried 
by a jury of his chosen friends and after a full and 
fair trial the verdict is, he must be hung." 

Dr. Foster, not to be outdone, arranged a pleasant 
surprise on the Christmas following, when the 
guests were invited into the parlor after, dinner, 
where he unveiled a thoroughly lifelike portrait of 
Mrs. Foster, and she too was hung. Mrs. Loop, a 
well known artist of New York City, had estab- 
lished her home in Clifton Springs, and her brush 
produced these two masterpieces which adorn the 
Sanitarium parlors to-day. 

I give this as a sample of the Doctor's life during 
these years. He went about quietly on his daily 
rounds, for the most of his life was routine, but it 
was a blessed routine, full of love and reverence for 
him. The guests of those days are mostly gone, but 
now and then one returns, who remembers them, 
with the same old feeling. If the reader should 
visit the Sanitarium now, please talk with those in 
employ who were in service then; with Ernest A. 
Miles, now Treasurer; with Albert Bossart, the 
Sanitarium chef; with Frank VanDyne, who super- 
intends the carpentry; with John Sheehan, who 


superintends the laundry; with Edward Deveraux, 
the gardener, and florist; with Gregory Lindner, the 
baker; with David Anderson and Frank Bradt, 
masseurs; with others, men and women; get them 
all together, or meet them separately, and you will 
find 100 per cent of the same feeling with each. The 
Doctor reprimanded them occasionally but he was 
so true, so God fearing, so loyal to their every in- 
terest, that they loved him more and more. These 
were prosperous years, and though busy, they were 
not exceedingly strenuous. At that time, the Doc- 
tor's chapel talks were much written about, and 
even edited and published. He felt a great relief 
when the Deed of Trust was executed, and the 
official care of things was committed to a body of 
strong, representative men. He was fond of visit- 
ing the farm which was one mile away, and this he 
did almost daily. His sister's son-in-law, Mr. 
Cotton, was the farm manager from 1880 to 1909. 
The buildings were poor. The inventory of stock 
which included 18 cows together with hay, grain, 
tools and implements footed up only $1200. The 
milk from the cows was sold to the Sanitarium 
which met only partially the needs of the house. 
Two laborers did all the work. William Foster 
died in December, 1881, and the farm passed to his 
brother, Dr. Henry, who gave it thereafter his 
personal supervision and control. He began at once 
extensive improvements. The old buildings were re- 
paired and new ones erected. Two hundred additional 
acres of land were purchased. The dairy of eighteen 


common cows was replaced by over one hundred 
registered Holsteins. Dr. Foster would have the 
best in stock and machinery, and the most modern 
methods of farming. Pasturage and the old fash- 
ioned hay-mow were superseded by well constructed 
silos filled with ensilage. Mr. Cotton told me that 
Dr. Foster put up the first silo in the state of New 
York. New buildings arose — new stock barns, new 
residences which housed twelve married laborers 
and their families, besides several single men. He 
built a creamery with all modern machinery, for 
he was determined that the Sanitarium should be 
furnished with an abundant supply of the best 
milk and cream, ice cream, and butter that the 
country afforded. 

He constructed an abattoir with cold storage at- 
tached. Stock was bought and slaughtered, fur- 
nishing at one time all the meats used at the Sani- 
tarium. Fowls were plentiful. Hog raising was a 
great industry on the farm, the best stock obtain- 
able being bred, and from 300 to 500 swine were 
raised each year, some slaughtered for the Sani- 
tarium use, but more sold and shipped on foot. 
Mr. Cotton wrote me, "Dr. Foster seldom missed 
a day for years going to the farm. He enjoyed see- 
ing its growth and prosperity, having in mind all 
the minute details, and giving his personal instruc- 
tions. His mind mastered all conditions and prob- 
lems. He was kind, sympathetic, and a friend to 
everyone, especially to those in his employ." 


Dr. Foster's method of farming might appear 
hazardous. It certainly would have been such for 
the average farmer, but he had a Sanitarium treas- 
ury to draw from, and he had a Sanitarium needing 
just such a farm back of it to supply its needs. It 
was a great asset to the Sanitarium to have such 
supplies at command, and it was a great asset to 
the farm to have such a sure market every day of 
the year for its supplies. They were necessary to 
each other. 

The last decade of Dr. Foster's life was more 
strenuous and attended with more disappointments 
and difficulties. God did not permit his faithful 
servant to enter upon a period of retirement, 
"Otium cum dignitate" — before his final leave 
taking; quite otherwise. There was the erection 
of the new main building which was a colossal 
undertaking. The big freeze of 1895 in Florida 
destroyed to the ground his two famous orange 
groves which before were easily worth on the mar- 
ket $100,000. Disappointment disarranged his 
plans for the future. The infirmities of age were 
increasing. Dr. Foster had suffered much from rheu- 
matism which later induced serious and finally 
fatal heart trouble. He had no natural successor to 
carry on his great work when he was gone. Who 
should do it was a burning question in his mind. 
The Board of Trustees was composed of very busy 
men, whose residences were scattered, and for the 
most part remote: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, 
Buffalo and elsewhere. Dr. Foster felt he must have 


a worthy local successor, and that meanwhile this 
man should be in training. Matthew B. Gault, 
M. D., came on the Sanitarium medical staff in 
1875. He was gifted, and had rendered fine service. 
Dr. Foster came more and more to feel that he was 
the man. Dr. Gault was placed at the head of the 
medical staff, and during Dr. Foster's winter 
absences, he was given temporary administrative 
control. He had a fine presence and a pleasing 
manner. His salary was placed at $5,000 besides 
furnished rooms and board in the Sanitarium which 
then was considered exceedingly generous. About 
this time Dr. Gault married the lady physician, 
Miss Wright, who continued in office after her 
marriage. Their prospective headship was reason- 
ably assured; but sometimes the unexpected hap- 
pens, and it did in this case, when Dr. and Mrs. 
Gault suddenly left in November, 1890, never to 
return. Dr. C. C. Thayer, who had been on the 
medical staff from 1880 to 1886, when he resigned 
and established private practice in the city of Min- 
neapolis, was urged to return to the Sanitarium, 
which he did early in January, 1891. After a little 
he was given the position of Medical Director 
which he held for several years. Dr. Foster retained 
the supreme headship of all departments until his 
death, but he had no well defined plans for the 
future. So far as possible, he relieved himself of 
medical cares, save as a consulting physician, and 
gave himself more particularly to the supervision 
of the business interests. It was easier for a new 


physician to have the medical care of patients, 
than it was for any new man to supervise the varied 
and complex business interests. In 1897 Dr. Foster 
conceived the idea of a rotating medical director- 
ship, the incumbent after twelve months being re- 
lieved by another member of the medical staff. 
Three physicians shared in that rotation, Dr. 
Thayer, Dr. Spaulding, and Dr. Loveland. Dr. 
Spaulding came in September, 1893, and is yet on 
the medical staff. He was Medical Director when 
Dr. Foster died, and during the seven years follow- 
ing, when Mrs. Foster was Superintendent. [Dr. 
Spaulding died Oct. 7, 1920.] 

A bright feature of the last decade of Dr. Foster's 
life was the marked development of the Medical 
department. One of the stipulations when Dr. 
Thayer returned from Minneapolis was that a 
Nurses Training School be established and this was 
done, largely through his instrumentality, in 1892. 
The first class of eight young women graduated in 
1894, receiving their diplomas and pins. The 
school has been a marked feature of the life and 
work of the Sanitarium ever since, assuming more 
and more importance with the passing years. In 
1904 the course of study which at first was two 
years was extended to three years. At all graduat- 
ing exercises, it was Dr. Foster's custom, after the 
formal address, to speak to the nurses, in a personal, 
fatherly, advisory way, words well chosen and 
fondly remembered. Dr. Loveland came to the 
Medical Staff in 1888, and remained eleven years. 


During that time, he suggested several important 
changes and improvements which were instituted, 
such for example as the systematic keeping of case 
histories, pharmacy and laboratory records, the 
making of blood and sputum examination, and the 
employment of a graduate Pharmacist. The Sani- 
tarium was coming to have a more thoroughly sci- 
entific staff of physicians. Dr. Baright now at the 
head of the Medical Sanitarium at Saratoga Springs 
was a member. Dr. Foster was ambitious for the 
latest and best in everything. Surgery crept in, 
and in 1898 Dr. J. R. Boynton, a surgeon from 
Chicago, was added to the staff. The upper floor 
of the new addition to the Annex was devoted to 
surgery. Dr. John A. Lichty, now an eminent phy- 
sician in Pittsburgh, and the President of the Sani- 
tarium Board of Trustees, was a physician at the 
Sanitarium from 1893 to 1899, with some intervals 
of absence for study. He has told me this and it 
illustrates forcibly Dr. Foster's ambition to have 
the latest and best in medical equipment. When 
Dr. Lichty was leaving in the fall of 1895 for a six 
months study in Europe, Dr. Foster asked him to 
look up everything about X-ray, which seems to 
have been first discovered or first brought out in 
Europe, in 1894, but was not used in a medical way 
until sometime later. Dr. Lichty carried out the 
instructions, and X-ray apparatus was installed in 
the Sanitarium in 1897. It was crude, quite unlike 
the instantaneous photography and very superior 
work done in the Sanitarium today, but it was a 


beginning and an early beginning. Progress was 
the watchword. The throat department under 
Dr. Loveland was followed by more specialized 
work under Dr. Smith, now of St. Louis and he 
was followed in 1895 by Dr. Merritt, whose de- 
partment comprised throat and nose, eye and 
ear. There was a marked development in the 
last decade of Dr. Foster's life of affiliation of 
the Medical Staff with the County, State and 
National Medical Societies. Dr. Foster lived to 
see the policy, now so strong, well established, 
of intimate relations between the patient at the 
Sanitarium and the home physician. Gradually, 
with increasing physical infirmities, Dr. Foster 
came to feel the need not only of a medical director, 
but also of a business manager who should, under 
Dr. Foster, have charge of the business affairs and 
management. The choice fell upon Mr. H. J. Bost- 
wick, who had been business agent in China of the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions. Mr. Bostwick entered upon his duties 
in 1896. At Dr. Foster's death he was elected 
Treasurer, which office he held until 1918. 

There is one lesson we may learn from Dr. 
Foster's anxiety to name his own successor, and that 
is to leave to the future the work of the future. The 
Deed of Trust was eminently wise, and it provided 
sufficiently for the future. How often wills seek to 
safeguard, but are too specific, and only entangle 
and embarrass. How often life insurance policies 
make wise specific provisions for a present situation, 



which are unwise ten years later. How little Dr. 
Foster dreamed that, at his death, Mrs. Foster 
would be chosen by the Trustees as his successor, 
and how thoroughly approved by everyone would 
be the choice they made. Dr. Foster had purposed 
from their marriage that Mrs Foster should be 
unacquainted with the vexatious and seamy side 
of Sanitarium affairs, but that she should simply 
visit the sick with smiles, flowers and comforting 
words, be active in the chapel, and be a social 
leader in the delightful fellowship of the place. 
Providence ordained a new task for her, and while 
she had much to learn, no one else could have 
carried the prestige of Dr. Foster's name, and re- 
flected his aims and spirit as well as she. 


pu - 



ft L 

\. l M i l l.l WH I I'll 













THERE have been three Sanitarium buildings 
on substantially the same site. The first, the 
old original frame structure dating from 1850 to 
1865; second, the brick building, the east wing of 
which was erected in 1856, the west wing in 1864, 
and the center, where stood the old frame building, 
erected in 1865. This completed brick structure 
stood for nearly 30 years, and it had a glorious 
history but the time came when it was deemed in- 
adequate, especially because it was not fireproof. 
For over 20 years Dr. Foster had prowled about at 
night watching against fire. He seemed obsessed 
with the mental imagery of a conflagration, and of 
helpless invalids being imperilled. Fires had occur- 
red around him To the east, the mammoth air cure 
establishment was destroyed by fire in January 1872. 
To the west, a few years later the three story War- 
field block was burned. Other fires occurred. It 
is somewhat remarkable that, in all its history, the 
Sanitarium escaped. Dr. Foster felt there should 
be a new fireproof building of the best construction, 
modern, ample, and erected on the old site in order 
to communicate with the vast working plant in the 


rear — bath rooms, laundry, kitchen, bakery, ma- 
chinery, shops, and the like. In the thirty years 
now closing, vast changes had come in everything. 
Steel was taking the place of wood in the framing 
of large buildings. Electric lighting was supersed- 
ing tallow candles, kerosene and gas. I remember 
well in 1880 when a patient, that the gas was turned 
off at precisely 9:30 p. m., which left the guest in 
darkness, save as he lighted a tallow candle, which 
the house provided for every room. In those days 
there were no electric call bells, and no professional 
nurses. If one were ill at night and needed atten- 
tion, he must tie his towel to the door knob, that 
the night watchman, in his hourly rounds through 
the halls, might see it, and attention be given. 

Dr. Foster was now in the seventies, and he 
longed to see the new building completed before he 
died. He had not the money, but he believed that 
God, who had provided so wonderfully thus far, 
would provide now. 

The past decade had been one of prosperity for 
him, both at Clifton Springs and in Florida. 

The fireproof addition at the east end of the 
Annex Block was erected in the fall of 1889, costing 
$55,000, which was soon paid for from Sanitarium 
profits. The total annual receipts in the care of the 
house were then about $190,000, and the total an- 
nual expenses about $160,000. In early September, 
1892, began the tearing down of the west half of the 
large brick building of 1864 and 5. It was a busy 
time with gangs of workmen until the following 


June, when the west half of the new building was 
completed. Its cost was $143,087. The Doctor had 
hoped for enough money to meet this. He was a 
prodigious worker, and a mighty man in prayer, but 
he did not know how to solicit funds from others. 
He had hosts of admirers and friends, and a few 
contributed towards this new enterprise, their gifts 
totalling about $15,000. Dr. and Mrs. Foster gave 
$60,000, which practically stripped them of all their 
earthly possessions, save their two orange groves in 
Florida. Those were killed to the ground in the big 
freeze of 1895. A few years ago Mrs. Foster sold 
the Gee Hammock grove for $12,000, and later the 
home grove with its buildings for $7,000. To sup- 
plement the $75,000 of gifts toward the. cost of the 
new west half, the Trustees adopted the plan of 
endowing certain rooms in the Sanitarium, those 
fully endowed costing $15,000, which gave the 
donor control in perpetuity of an ordinary room, 
along with board, medical care and treatments free 
of charge for one person, whom the donor could 
designate from time to time, the only stipulation 
being as Dr. Foster tersely put it, the person sent 
must not be an incurable or a nuisance. Three such 
rooms were secured, yielding $45,000. In 1898 an- 
other $15,000 on the same plan was added. Then 
dear old Dr. North of the Sanitarium medical staff 
undertook to raise another $15,000 for this purpose 
by frequent public entertainments. This cost him 
great labor, but it was a labor of love, and others 
became his willing helpers. It was another case of 


"Dr. North and his friends." Our Dr. North had 
been at the Sanitarium since 1861, save a short in- 
terval. He was a genial, lovable man, a Yale grad- 
uate, a fine physician, a Christian gentleman, and 
a capital story teller. As he made his announce- 
ments from time to time in the dining-room, always 
closing: "proceeds for the benefit of the endowment 
fund", the guests smiled and went and gave gener- 
ously. By and by the Doctor had the needed sum, 
little dreaming that when too old and feeble longer 
to practice medicine, it would be his good fortune 
to walk into that room, and enjoy all its privileges 
while he lived. 

Another plan of endowment arose in this way. 
Some foreign missionaries came from their fields of 
labor to Dr. Foster's "Repair Shop", too ill to 
board in the village, and too badly stranded financi- 
ally to stay in the Sanitarium, even with the cus- 
tomary discount for missionaries. It occurred to 
Dr. Foster it would be wise if the various Foreign 
Missionary Boards would each create what is 
termed a partially endowed room by the payment 
of $1200, receiving in return the privilege of placing 
one of their missionaries of this particular type in 
the Sanitarium, where the cost to the patient would 
be the same as charged in the village. Seven en- 
dowments of this kind were created, yielding to the 
building fund $8400, but Dr. Foster deemed it wise 
not to continue the plan further. I have mentioned 
that absolute gifts aggregating about $15,000 came 
from a few friends. Of these Rev. John M. Reid, 


D. D., of the Methodist Church, and one of the 
original Board of Trustees, gave $5000; and $3,757, 
the remainder of her estate at her death, was given 
by Miss Bates who had lived in the Edwards home 
before Mrs. Foster's marriage. Her request to be 
buried near Mrs. Foster's last resting place was 
granted, for she lies near by in the Foster cemetery 
lot. From June, 1893, until the fall of 1895 the 
west half of the new building and the east half of 
the old adjoined, and were used as one building. It 
made the old half look diminutive and ashamed, 
but Dr. Foster was determined to wait until the 
needed money came in answer to prayer, before 
proceeding further. In February, 1895 a goodly 
company of business men, who were mostly guests 
in the house, convened and earnestly discussed the 
situation. Dr. and Mrs. Foster were in Florida. 
These men felt that owing to the Doctor's advanced 
age and infirm health, the east half should be com- 
pleted without delay, and that it should be done by 
issuing $150,000 of bonds secured by mortgage on 
the Sanitarium property. Their united request was 
conveyed by letter to the Doctor. In his own mind 
he opposed it. He would hold on to God by prayer, 
and yet these men were his warm friends, sane, 
wise business men. What should be his answer? 
For a time he withheld it, but finally acceded. 
Many have thought a far reaching mistake was 
made, and that if a project wisely planned and 
wisely executed had been undertaken to raise the 
same sum by donations from friends, it would have 


succeeded. The work on the east half was begun 
in the autumn of 1895 and finished the following 
June. The completed building presents a magnifi- 
cent appearance with a frontage of 244 feet. It is 
five stories in height, besides a well lighted base- 
ment containing pharmacy, laboratory, nurses par- 
lors, medical offices, storage rooms, while at the top 
are towers, and the roof itself is utilized in various 
ways. About one-third of it, called the Solarium, 
is enclosed with large glass windows, the interior 
furnished with rugs, couches and easy chairs, where 
the sick can bask in the cheerful and invigorating 
sunshine. Two safety elevators run from top to 
bottom, giving wheel chair occupants access to 
all parts of the building, and to the grounds with 
their 62 acres of beautiful groves. Each of the 
guest rooms has steam heat, gas, electric lights and 
electric bells. The halls are warmed by fresh air 
forced into them after having passed over steam 
heated coils. On the first or main floor is a large 
beautiful dining room, ample corridors, general 
business office, three connecting parlors, Superin- 
tendent's medical office and waiting room, a library 
and reading room containing 4000 volumes and 
eighty periodicals and magazines, and last, but not 
least is a beautiful chapel capable of comfortably 
seating three hundred persons. This building is 
deemed fireproof for' its construction is of steel, 
terra cotta, brick, stone and marble, while the floors 
are of tile, and the doors are covered with metal, 
making it as proof against fire as is possible. The 


cost of the east part was $123,055, making the total 
cost of the building $266,142. Bonds calling for 
$150,000 were issued bearing interest at five per 
cent per annum payable semi-annually, dated 
March 1st, 1896, due in 15 years, with pre-payment 
privileges after five years. Dr. Foster withheld 
them from bankers and brokers who were ready to 
take them, and he succeeded in placing them in 
small, well distributed lots, for the most part, 
among personal friends of the institution. 

Next was the dedication of the building to Al- 
mighty God. The dedication of the first building 
with its brick east wing was on July 25, 1856, which 
was a mile-stone in the Doctor's early career. The 
dedication of this building occurred forty years 
later, July 10th, 1896. I cannot do better than to 
quote in part from the souvenir booklet published 
at the request of many friends, giving a full account 
of that day's services. 

The first page contains these words: "The dedi- 
cation of the beautiful chapel, and imposing and 
magnificent new building of the Clifton Springs 
Sanitarium on July 10, 1896, was the fitting occa- 
sion for the celebration of the completion of the 
great life-work and the great goal for which Dr. 
Henry Foster had been striving for forty-seven 
years. The interesting programme for the day in- 
cluded a preaching service at 10:30 a, m.; a plat- 
form meeting at 3 p. m., and an evening meeting of 
reminiscences at 7 p. m." 


The chapel is commodious, with a seating capa- 
city of about 300. Plush upholstered opera chairs 
occupy the central portion of the room. The soft 
olive shade of carpet and pulpit furnishings blend 
richly with the light of the two large beautiful 
memorial windows placed on opposite sides of the 
room. A pleasing and gratifying study in art is the 
window on the east side, placed there by Mrs. F. W. 
Benedict, of New Haven, Conn., in memory of her 
father, Edmund Lear Piper. The window repre- 
sents Hoffman's "Christ Child in the Temple," the 
original painting of which is to be seen in the mod- 
ern gallery at Dresden. The window on the oppo- 
site side is in memory of Rev. Lewis Bodwell, who 
was chaplain of the Sanitarium from 1870 to 1894. 
It represents Christ the Good Shepherd, and was 
given by friends of Mr. Bodwell, to thus perpetuate 
his memory in the place where he gave so many 
years of unselfish toil. 

"In the chapel is a pipe organ of rich and unusual 
tone. Incandescent lights from groined arches and 
frescoed cornices, while making a grateful method 
of illumination, give beauty at night to the sur- 
roundings. The Sanitarium building itself is a 
superb monument to modern skill and invention, 
being complete in every detail for its specific pur- 
poses, and combining in its appointments and fur- 
nishings, the comforts and attractions of the highest 
grade hotels." 

|&.The dedicatory sermon by Bishop John H. Vin- 
cent of the Methodist Episcopal Church was mas 


terful, and it reflects well the spirit and aims of Dr. 

The text was from Romans 1:16, "The power of 
God unto Salvation." Philips Brooks once said: 
"Salvation is health," and this is an excellent and 
radical definition. It implies normal conditions, the 
rightly used power of self-control, normal relations 
to man, to God — the true environment, harmony 
with the human and divine, the recognition of all 
personal obligations, the true and steady trend of 
the soul onward and upward. It implies, too, that 
there are divine forces from the all encompassing 
God — a current of divine life in human character. 
The best man and the best angel lives by life from 
God, as planets are held together, and held in their 
places and illumined by the sun. Salvation then, 
in a certain sense does mean health, salus — health, 
and salvus — safe. Salvation is the burden of revela- 
tion, the mission of the Church, the work of Jesus, 
the theme of the Christian pulpit, the high aim of 
a true life. Salvation is health. 

"Salvation is possible; salvation from despair, 
from benumbing and dwarfing doubt, from the 
discouragements of an evil consciousness, from the 
chill of apathy, from the reign of selfishness, from 
the dominion of passion. Heroes of the faith in all 
ages and in all conditions of life have demonstrated 
it. Subjective experience, outward transformation, 
lives of righteousness have witnessed its reality. 
Salvation is a reality. 


"If salvation is health — we may inquire in this 
Hall of Health, among these springs of water, in 
the presence of these physicians, on the occasion of 
the dedication of this Sanitarium — What is the re- 
lation of salvation to physical health? This insti- 
tution was established, and has been conducted on 
the theory that there is an intimate relation. 

"Today, we enter a new Chapel, which is to be, 
as was the old, the very heart of the Sanitarium, 
symbol of the forces of healing and of help which the 
institution has represented and commanded from 
its earliest beginning. Dr. Foster has, from the 
first, avoided the fanaticisms which so often accom- 
pany religious schemes for physical healing. He 
has closely followed, or been guided by the true 
philosophy of health — the philosophy which I have 
crudely set forth this morning, the philosophy 
which exalts spirit above body, putting a scientific 
value all the while on the body, and on the laws of 
its care and cure, subjecting the physical to the 
power of the spiritual, recognizing the value of en- 
vironment, the almost omnipotent energy of the 
personal will, insisting upon genuine religious ex- 
perience as conditioning the body and ministering 
to its normal state, seeking to promote inward rest 
and the joy of being, in a perfect and present sal- 

"About Dr. Foster and his life I must say a word. 
Think of the weary ones who for all these years 
have been rested both in body and spirit here! 
Think of the suffering ones who have here found 


relief! Think of the despairing souls who have here 
found hope! Think of the guilty souls who have 
here heard God's voice of pardon! Think of the 
struggling souls who have here ceased to strive and 
to kick against the goads, and have here cried, 
'Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?' and have 
found answer and accepted God's commission! 
Think of ministers who have gone from this place 
to preach a new gospel, and live a new life! Think 
of the souls who have been won to the Lord because 
of the new light that shone upon them at Clifton 
Springs! Think of the poor — the very poor — who 
could never have continued to serve church and 
family and society but for the hospitality which 
this institution has so long and so generously ex- 
tended ! Think of the sceptics who came here deny- 
ing the Book and the Christ and the Life of divine 
rest, and who have gone away with God's own 
spirit of peace resting within their glad hearts! 
Think of the dying who have here heard words of 
loving farewell and who here have heard a blessed 
welcome from the opening heavens! Think of the 
souls waiting — somewhere yonder — to greet the 
man whose skill healed them, whose love won them, 
whose example convinced them of the reality of the 
faith he defended." 

At the close of the sermon Dr. Foster offered the 
dedicatory prayer, which in its reverence, unction, 
thought and language, is a portraiture of the man, 
and should be presented in full. 


"0, Thou Who dwellest in the heavens, and upon 
the earth, and in the hearts of Thy children, we 
thank Thee that Thou art also interested in the 
affairs of men. We thank Thee that Thou dost go 
before them, planning life's work for them, and then 
by Thy power and grace uphold them, every loyal, 
loving heart accomplishing the thing that Thou 
hast set Thy heart upon. We thank Thee that, 
long before we lived, Thou didst plan this Sanitar- 
ium at Clifton Springs as it is this day. We thank 
Thee that Thou hast been with all the workers and 
those who have united together in carrying out this 
work, to uphold them, and hast upheld them by 
giving wisdom, giving strength and giving grace 
sufficient to do the work of God here. 

"We thank Thee that Thou hast been here ever 
manifesting Thyself, and we thank Thee profoundly 
for the large number of souls that have been con- 
verted to God here, and for the large number of 
souls that have been converted who have come here 
distressed, and sick, and sorrowing, needing the 
touch of the Divine hand, and hast sent them forth 
to labor again in the vineyard of God, and hast 
strengthened them, and hast opened a new life to 
them, and made them more efficient than before 
because of the healing waters here and because of 
the prescriptions of the physicians, and because 
Thy will was given and Thy power imparted. 

"We adore Thee for all Thou hast thus done for 
us here, and now, as Thou hast carried us on to the 
completion of the building, the enlargement of its 


opportunities and the increase of its facilities for 
doing the work of God, we now come, Thou 
blessed God, to present it renewedly unto Thee. 
Thou knowest we have worked together for that 
end, lo these many years, and for the purpose of 
doing the largest amount of good work for God and 
humanity. We come now to present it renewedly 
unto Thee for Thy blessing upon it, Thine accept- 
ing grace, for unless Thou dost receive it, unless 
Thou dost enthrone Thyself here, unless Thou dost 
here manifest Thy power and grace, it will be for 
naught. Yea, worse than naught, because we have 
professed to follow Thee; we have declared that 
Thou art here; we have published that Thy pres- 
ence was here, and this house as Thine own place 
where Thou hast deigned to come and dwell, and 
meet Thy children, yea, meet all who called upon 
Thee with a loving heart. 

"Therefore, we ask Thee now to come more fully 
than ever before, to come even now into this room 
dedicated to Thy service. Here receive it as Thine 
own. Here, O, Christ! take up Thine abode and 
here manifest Thy power and Thy grace upon all 
hearts who come here. Yea, enter into the entire 
dwelling. May every room be the presence cham- 
ber of Almighty God. May every room be the 
place where souls may meet Thee, where they may 
find Thee to the joy of the heart, to the health of 
the body, and the uplifting of the spirit. 

"We pray Thee, Lord God, that whenever the 
sick heart, the sinsick soul, here calls upon Thee, 


that Thou wouldst meet every such heart and for- 
give and uplift them, and so may they find Thee to 
the joy of the heart, and go away into the world to 
serve the living God, and to testify to a risen Christ. 

"When anyone comes here sick, and sorrowing 
and especially with mind overshadowed overcast 
by disease and disappointment, and despair takes 
hold of them, if then they look up in the face of 
Jesus, if then they cry for mercy and for health, if 
then Thy servants in their hearts carry them by 
faith to God, hear their petitions and their prayers 
and remove disease, and lift the cloud from the 
mind and let grace divine enter in, and let God 
deliver them from the thraldom into which Satan 
has brought them, and so may they too, go forth 
rejoicing, serving the Lord Christ. 

"When any come here in pain and suffering under 
the distress of a human affliction, Oh, hear their cry 
and answer from Heaven, and manifest Thy power 
and grace here in relieving and strengthening and 
uplifting, and send them forth to serve the Lord God. 

"And we ask Thee, Oh, our Father, now to accept 
this our prayer, and hear us while we still look up 
to Thee, for we desire greatly now the manifesta- 
tion of Thyself. Now, Thou blessed Spirit, come 
and fill the room, yea fill the house, and may the 
glory of God be established here and ever be seen 
here, so the glory of this latter house may be greater 
than that of the former. 

"We thank Thee for all Thou hast done, but we 
look for greater results, greater manifestations of 


Thy power and grace. We look for more of God 
with us. 

"We ask Thee to give grace to those physicians 
who so lovingly and so constantly give themselves 
to the labor of healing the sick. Give them wisdom 
to prescribe aright, and go Thou with the means 
into the body, and there give efficiency to the means 
used, and may they be very potent because pre- 
scribed by hearts loyal to God, with minds open to 
receive divine guidance, and because the prayer of 
faith accompanies the prescription. 

"Blessed God! hear us now, now manifest Thy 
power. Now take possession of this house. Now 
establish it as Thine own. Now make this place 
Thy home. Now- reveal Thyself to hearts here 
waiting to see Thee, and those who may, in future 
years, come to see Thee, and in that sight bind Thou 
closely a healed body, a healed mind, preparing 
them for the great work of life, and the greater 
work in the realms beyond ; and we will render unto 
Thee praise, now and ever more through Christ the 
Redeemer, Amen." 

The afternoon exercises were of a high order 
throughout, brief addresses being made by the fol- 
lowing Trustees of the Sanitarium: Revs. F. F. 
Ellinwood, J. H. Murdock, H. N. Cobb, Judson 
Smith, A. B. Leonard, Prof. Willis J. Beecher, and 
Bishop C. C. McCabe. Dr. Foster spoke at length, 
words which have appeared in previous chapters of 
this book. Dr. Ellinwood the President of the 


Board of Trustees, presided at the afternoon meet- 
ing, and I quote from his address: 

"Not to prolong reminiscences, I want to say 
only one or two things. First, I have been witness 
to the genuineness of the work all these years, forty- 
five in number. I remember Dr. Foster as the 
young doctor, full of enthusiasm, not sparing him- 
self day. or night, taking full charge of everything, 
the business concerns of the Sanitarium, or 'water 
cure,' was called, looking after his patients 
with only inadequate assistance, sparing himself 
never, and yet, all the while, finding time in the 
still hours of the night, to wrestle in prayer with 
God that His blessing, without which all is in vain 
might constantly -descend as the dew of heaven, on 
this Sanitarium. I want to say that I believe that, 
aside from the incalculable value of the institution 
in giving health to hundreds and thousands and 
even to tens of thousands — for I believe that at 
least seventy or eighty thousand have been here — 
in addition to this, there has gone from this institu- 
tion the most positive spiritual influence that has 
gone from any institution within my knowledge. 

"I have seen here presidents of colleges, profes- 
sors, lawyers, judges, ministers, bishops, all classes 
of men, literary men and literary women, some of 
the most renowned in the land. There have been 
here thousands of the foremost cultivated men and 
women of America, and some from other lands. I 
do not know of any place that has been a gathering 
center for so much of intellectual and moral worth 




and spiritual power as this Sanitarium; and I doubt 
whether any one of all who have come here has ever 
gone away without having substantial increase of 
spiritual power, and gone forth blessing God for 
this institution." 

The evening services were full of delightful rem- 
iniscences by Rev. Dr. W. F. Scofield of Washing- 
ton, D. C, James H. North, M. D., of the Sanitar- 
ium Medical Staff, Rev. Dr. Wallace, professor in 
Victoria University, Toronto, Rev. W. H. Belden, 
formerly a missionary at Constantinople, Turkey, 
Prof. J. H. Gilmore of Rochester University, C. C. 
Thayer, M. D., of the Sanitarium Medical Staff, 
Rev. Dr. J. T. Gracey, of Rochester, President of 
the International Missionary Union, Hubbard 
Foster, M. D., a brother of Dr. Henry, Mrs. Pren- 
tiss, wife of Professor Prentiss of Cornell University, 
and later, wife of Prof. Waite of the same institu- 
tion, who spoke in a charming way of her childhood 
reminiscences at Clifton Springs, and of Dr. Foster. 
Others spoke and thus ended a most wonderful day 
in the history of the institution. 



IT will be remembered that Dr. Foster came to 
Clifton Springs in the late autumn of 1849, and 
that on Sept. 13th, 1850, his institution was for- 
mally opened to the public. In the summer of 1900 
several felt that when Sept. 13th arrived, there 
should be a Semi-centennial celebration. Dr. Foster 
did not take kindly to it at first, fearing it would be 
an exploitation of his deeds and successes, but 
when assured its golden text would be 'What hath 
God wrought," he assented. 

The anniversary day was bright and balmy. The 
response to the committees' invitation to be present 
far exceeded all expectation. At the dinner hour 
music and flowers welcomed four hundred to ban- 
quet-laden tables in the gold-decorated dining room. 
Illustrated programmes announced the 2 o'clock 
exercises in the Chapel, and these were historic and 
reminiscent. In the evening a unique programme 
was carried out in the gynmasium by the employees 
of the Sanitarium. On the following Sabbath even- 
ing the services in the Chapel were again reminis- 
cent. It fell to my lot to preside at the afternoon 
exercises commencing at 2 o'clock. It was like a 


large family gathering. There was order and a 
programme, but no formality or stiff speech making. 
It was nearly five o'clock, before it was possible or 
even proper to close. The Doctor was feeble, but 
he was very happy, and his face was radiant. He 
spoke for forty minutes with his old-time pathos, 
point and power; but, with the exception of leading 
a prayer meeting soon afterwards, it was his last 
public utterance. His work was done. He lived 
quietly in his home until the following January, 
sending by Mrs. Foster repeated messages to the 
chapel services, and a few were privileged to make 
a brief call upon him. 

The other speakers that afternoon were limited 
strictly to ten minutes. The prevailing note was 
praise to God for blessings received at Clifton 

The central thought in Dr. Foster's address may 
be expressed in these quotations from it : 

"Fifty years have passed since this Instituton 
was founded and we have met to celebrate that 
event. A semi-centennial is not so frequently 
reached in one man's lifetime all the years given to 
one theme — all passed in one business — but God 
put before me at one time a promise, and I pledged 
that I would take as my life motto, 'This one thing 
I do,' and I have kept that pledge. 

"We can look over the stretch of years, which 
seem delightful as we look back upon them ; appar- 
ently they have gone very smoothly; but when the 
days and weeks were passing, there were stormy 


seas, difficulties to meet, crosses to bear; and it has 
been fifty years of toil and anxiety, and of much, 
very much praying. 

"There were many ways in which I needed edu- 
cating, and one was as to the efficacy of prayer. 

"In His own marvelous way, God so convinced 
me of the truth that He answers prayer, that I 
have ever since rested on his promises with entire 
assurance, and have proved them true. I had also 
to learn that God was doing the work, that God 
was the power, and that all I had to do was to wait 
on Him with patience, and do the work He showed 
me. Then, in His own way, He taught me that it 
was not my battle but God's, not my plan but His, 
not my work but His and His alone. He had ap- 
pointed me as a promoter of His work, and all He 
asked of me was to do my best in developing that 
work. He would come in and do the rest, and I 
have found ever since, that to be the case. 

"Now my dear friends, I have not much more 
promoting to do in this world. In a short time I 
shall have passed to other scenes and other activ- 
ities, but I am deeply interested with regard to the 
future of this Institution, and the promoters whom 
God may choose to carry on the work. If the ser- 
vant will follow the leading of Christ, there will be 
peace and harmony in all our borders, and the In- 
stitution will do a greater work in the future than 
in the past." 

Prof. J. H. Gilmore of Rochester University, re- 
ferred to the time when he and Dr Foster were 


wrestling in prayer together, when at ten minutes 
to one o'clock in the afternoon, October 14th, 1885, 
God met them, and a great deliverance came to 
him, "so that," said he, "all I have done and all 
that I have enjoyed in these last fifteen years, I 
owe to Clifton Springs." Prof. Gilmore never 
failed to visit Clifton Springs on the anniversary 
day, October 14, from 1885 until Dr. Foster's death. 

Rev. Dr. J. T. Gracey, President of the Inter- 
national Missionary Union said, "I have been 
familiar with this Institution for 28 years, and have 
closely studied its parts and its entirety. Eminent 
divines and others of the great ones of Earth, sena- 
tors, governors, generals, chief merchants and 
famous literateurs, men and women, have thronged 
these halls. Many of them have written of this 
place for the public prints. They have exalted its 
therapeutics, praised its domesticity, and em- 
phasized its benevolence; many of them have ap- 
preciated the religious atmosphere; all have felt the 
personal magnetism of the founder of the house, 
yet, in very exceptional cases no one has seemed to 
seize the central thought to which this is correlated 
and of which it is but the natural evolution. It is 
not a conglomerate of several excellent features — 
it is a life. The kernel, the center of the whole his- 
tory of the organism, is the relation which exists 
between given spiritual conditions and bodily 

Thomas K. McCree (International Secretary of 
the Y. M. C. A.) who was intimately associated 


with D. L. Moody in evangelistic work, and whose 
personal work extended all over this country and 
Canada, and over some parts of Europe, was present 
and told with great feeling of his conversion to God 
at the Sanitarium. "I remember so well," said he, 
"when I went into the Doctor's office and he looked 
me over. Health is a good thing, but I got some- 
thing better. I had been leading not only a godless 
but a dissipated life. I came here without hope and 
without God, but when I had been here a while, 
the quiet influence of the Sanitarium stole into my 
soul — my life was changed — and shortly after, I 
made public confession of Christ, and started in 
religious work." 

Dr. Hubbard Foster spoke briefly and modestly 
of his work in the Sanitarium, during its earlier 
history. Mrs. Dodge, a sister, was introduced to 
the audience. An anniversary poem, composed by 
Mrs. Dr. Thayer for the occasion, was read, and an 
anniversary hymn, composed by Dr. Thayer was 

A portion of Rev. Dr. F. F. Ellinwood's letter 
said: "The one thing which has changed least at 
Clifton Springs is the religious influence of the place. 
This impressed me deeply 49 years ago, and the 
impression is undiminished to this day. As a center 
and source of a deepened spiritual life, Clifton was 
a sort of Northfield long before Mr. Moody began 
his work. Clifton has always been noted for its 
prevailing fairness and charity towards different 
types of religious belief, all grades from the highest 



ritualism to the simplicity of the society of Friends, 
have felt perfectly at home. All have been treated 
with kindness and courtesy. Although everything 
has been frankly Protestant, yet I have frequently 
seen Roman Catholic Priests and Bishops, who 
seemed to appreciate the place and enjoy it. One 
of the most striking facts in this long and successful 
history is that Clifton has never exploited any fad 
either in medicine or in theology." 

These selections are but a fair sample of the 
high order of the service throughout. 

The semi-centennial was a noteworthy event, 
which has lived in the minds of all who were 
privileged to be present. 


"crossing the bar" tributes 

'HpHE months closely following the semi-centen- 
■*• nial celebration witnessed the steady and sure 
decline of Dr. Foster's physical strength, and anx- 
ious friends felt that the end was near. It came at 
7 a.m., January 15th, 1901, and wide and ample 
publicity was given to it by the press. Of the death 
itself, Mrs. Foster, who was the only one present, 
said: "After a very serious illness and apparent 
drawing near to death in November, Dr. Foster 
rallied in a surprising manner. He attributed his 
improvement to answers to prayer offered in his 
behalf by many loving hearts in his wide circle of 
friends, and said: 'It is of the Lord. I hope I may 
be strong enough to go to the Chapel and testify 
what He has done; the prayer offered has been 
public, the testimony of its efficacy should be so 

"He improved sufficiently to think of going to 
Florida, and enjoyed the thought, but always with 
the reservation, 'If God wills'. On Monday night 
he rested better than usual, awoke Tuesday morn- 
ing refreshed and stronger, and so expressed himself; 

"crossing the bar' I49 

was able to take his usual bath, and afterwards 
chatted in a firm, strong voice." 

Mrs. Foster had left his side for a moment, when 
returning she saw him sitting with his head thrown 
back, his eyes uplifted and his face radiant so that 
she exclaimed: "What do you see, what are you 
looking at?" not thinking it possible that the voice 
which the moment before had spoken to her was 
stilled in death. He was gone. Speaking of it, Mrs. 
Foster said, "He had seen his Lord, who came to 
take his loving child to the Father's home, and had 
gone 'in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye' to be 
forever with the Lord. A few deep breaths, and the 
long life of loyal service on earth was translated to 
the glory beyond." 

The following editorial appeared January 16th 
in the Rochester Daily Democrat and Chronicle: 


"One of the noblest of men passed away when 
Dr. Henry Foster, of Clifton Springs, died yesterday 
morning. His had been a long life of unremitting 
labor, splendid beneficence, and magnificent fruit- 
age. Starting with a capital consisting only of a 
powerful individuality, and with a working force, 
of which his own superb executive ability was the 
chief element, Dr. Foster reared a structure of 
achievement, the like of which is seldom seen, and 
the character of which has been revealed in count- 
less blessings to the thousands of men and women 


who have gone to him for spiritual and physical 
healing. • 

"Dr. Foster was a pioneer. He found Clifton 
Springs, half a century ago, little better than a 
desolate swamp. He converted it into a health 
resort which afterwards became world famous, and 
which is now the site of a sanitarium known far and 
wide as a perfectly appointed institution, attrac- 
tive in its surroundings, a home for the afflicted, a 
restful abiding place, and a restorer of strength and 
energy to those who seek its ministrations. 

"Dr. Foster's personality was a dominant and 
yet a lovable one. He was a man of splendid 
physique, a worker of wonderful persistency, and 
a genius whose guiding hand moved with unerring 
precision and compelling force. Yet his whole be- 
ing was charged with tenderness and sympathy, 
and his chief delight was to do good to others. His 
deeds of charity were innumerable, but the quality 
of ostentation was entirely absent from his nature. 
The physician's instinct was born in him, and was 
developed by complete and constant devotion to 
his profession. Dr. Foster was a devout Christian, 
not merely in adherence to the forms and dogmas 
of religion, but in thorough devotion to its prin- 
ciples and practical teachings. His faith was the 
essence of his being, the vital force in all his thoughts 
and the controlling spirit of all his acts. He was 
thoroughly convinced of the power of Christianity 
as a curative agent, not in a blind and unreasoning 

( < 


way, but in the sense of placing the mind in a con- 
dition of trustfulness and tranquillity, and thus 
bringing the body to a state of receptiveness to 
health-giving treatment. His was the religion of 
cheer and hope; it was undoubtedly foupded on 
physical truth, and its solace and fruits, as exem- 
plified through a half-century of unremitting devo- 
tion to the healing art, were numerous beyond the 
power of computation. 

"Dr. Foster must be classed as one of the remark- 
able men of the time, and probably in every 
country in the world there are men and women who 
revere his character, and who will be inexpressibly 
saddened by the news of his death." 

Two days later came the funeral services. We 
copy from the booklet's account of the morning 
service: "On the morning of January 18th, which 
day was Dr. Foster's eightieth birthday at ten 
o'clock a service of unusual solemnity and sweet- 
ness was held at the cottage and was of a semi- 
private character, only the family and immediate 
friends being present. 

"Persons present in official capacity who were not 
Christians have said that they can never forget the 
impressions of that hour; that they were simply 
indescribable and never realized by them before. 

"This service was in charge of the Chaplain, Rev. 
S. Hawley Adams, D. D. 

"When concluding his address, Dr. Adams read 
a poem which had been composed by Dr Thayer, 


in honor of Dr. Foster's anticipated eightieth birth- 

"Well done!" The books of eighty years will tell 
What love divine has wrought 
In thee and through thee brought 
The King a harvest rich. Thou hast done well. 

"Well done!" The books of eighty years will tell 
How love and word and pen 
Have life and comfort been 
To scores in every land. Thou hast done well." 

"Well done!" The books of eighty years will tell 
How every passing year 
God's love has seemed more dear, 
And, as you learned, grew strong. Thou hast done well. 

"Well done!" The books of eighty years will tell 
Of leading all the way, 
Of mercy every day, 
As thou hast walked with God. Thou hast done well. 

"Well done, good and faithful!" The King will see 
Thy soul ransomed and free, 
His gifts doubled in thee; 
He cometh, beloved, with greetings for thee." 

"He has come with His greeting", said Chaplain 
Adams impressively as he closed." 

Rev. J. Q. Adams, D. D., of the Auburn Theo- 
logical Seminary, and a former chaplain, spoke. 

Following his address he offered a very tender 
and impressive prayer, after which the choir sang 
Dr. Foster's favorite hymn, "Rock of Ages." 

After the morning service, the casket was borne 
to the Chapel of the Sanitarium, there to lie in 


state until the afternoon public service, which 
began at two o'clock. 

The altar of the Sanitarium Chapel, where the 
afternoon services were held, was almost entirely 
hidden by choice floral tributes from the friends of 
the departed physician. Most of them were rare 
blossoms and the pieces were very tastefully ar- 

The casket bore the simple inscription : 

Henry Foster 
born january 18, 1821 
died january 15, 1901 

The singing was beautifully rendered by the 
choir. The scripture lesson was read by Rev. W. 
R. Benham, D. D., pastor of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church of Clifton Springs, after which prayer 
was offered by Rev. C. H. James, a former chaplain. 

The addresses were given by three Trustees of 
the Sanitarium, Prof. Willis J. Beecher of Auburn 
Theological Seminary, Dr. Judson Smith, Secretary 
of the American Board of Commissioners for For- 
eign Mission, and by Dr. Henry M. Cobb of Boston, 
Secretary of the Reformed Board. All these ad- 
dresses were of high grade and bore fitting testi- 
mony to Dr. Foster's unique personality, large use- 
fulness, and noble Christian character. 

I quote from Dr. Smith's address these words: 

"Dr. Foster was singularly qualified for his great 
career. His native endowments were of high order. 
He was physically vigorous and commanding, a 


marked man in any assembly. He had a strong 
and healthy mind, great power of acquisition, 
ability to keep pace with the developments of sci- 
ence, openness to new truth, and a sane judgment 
as to the line between progressive thought and 
fanaticism. He had a rare capacity for affairs; and 
naturally took broad views of things. He could deal 
with the minutiae of things, but he was never swal- 
lowed up in them. In the business world he would 
have won great success; and men of affairs appre- 
ciated his gifts. He would have won deserved re- 
nown in the political world as Governor or Senator. 
It was easy for him to take in the salient features 
of the times, and whatever bore on human interests 
and fortunes was of importance in his eyes. I have 
been continually impressed and filled with admira- 
tion as we have talked together of politics, of philan- 
thropy, of education, of theology, of missions, of 
reform, to find how readily his mind worked along 
these lines, how wisely he went to the heart of the 
matter, how just an estimate he had of things quite 
outside the circle of his main labor and thoughts. 
"He was singularly open and winsome in all social 
intercourse. The greatness of his heart was easy 
to see. He was interested in people; need, sorrow, 
doubt or suffering, made an instant appeal, and 
found a listening ear. Hypocrisy, or irreverence, 
or unworthiness of any kind, were offensive, and 
felt the rebuke of his noble sincerity and righteous- 

''crossing the bar' 155 

"His religious life and experience were most gen- 
uine and deep. Here he was at his best; and these 
were the chief sources of his power in the Sanitar- 
ium. He stamped a religious character, of a high 
and cheerful sort, on the institution from the begin- 
ning, and maintained it with even hand." 

After the addresses prayer was offered by Rev. 
Francis E. Clark, D. D., president of the Society 
of Christian Endeavor, after which the casket was 
borne to the cemetery, chosen employees acting as 
pall bearers. The burial service was conducted by 
the Rev. Dr. Wm. R. Benham, pastor of the 
Methodist Church at Clifton Springs. 

Servant of God, well done! 
Thy glorious warfare's past; 
The battle's fought, the race is won, 
And thou art crowned at last. 

As we sum up Dr. Foster's traits and history, we 
note that he was a combination of two unlike and 
even sharply contrasted men. Dr. Foster was a 
genuine mystic. He was a dreamer and had visions ; 
splendid red material for a fanatic and revolution- 
ist. That was the one man. He was a sane, wise, 
shrewd, practical conservative, that was the other 
man. He was a careful, economical money saver. 
He was a prodigal money spender. He was affec- 
tionate and kind to the limit; he was at times very 
severe. He was open minded and impressionable 
up to a certain point, then he was as unyielding 
as adamant. If you wished to influence him to your 


way of thinking, you had to begin early. He was 
like a concrete walk, yielding at first to the light 
touch of the trowel, or the imprint of a baby's foot 
or a leaf, but soon hardening into stone. He was 
exceedingly loyal to one who had his confidence. 
Gossip, innuendoes, opinions, availed nothing. For 
this reason he never turned on a curve, but always, 
if at all, at a sharp angle. 

This combination of the mystic and dreamer 
with practical shrewdness and wisdom, of gentle- 
ness with severity, is not unknown in history. John 
Wesley was such, and so was Joseph, Pharaoh's 
prime minister in Egypt. It always betokens a 
strong personality of heroic mold. 

Dr. Foster stuck to one thing. He never deviated 
or slackened, but just kept at it. He was one of the 
best illustrations "of the persistence of force"; fifty 
years at one place, with one work, with one plan. 

There was a unity to Dr. Foster's life — not that 
of a conglomerate — different substances cemented 
— but of the granite. In fact as you study his life, 
you find it blending throughout. It was like our 
Saviour's seamless garment, all woven together. 

The explanation of this is not only a human per- 
sistence, but his seeking and implicitly following 
God's guidance, which is so beautifully expressed 
by Horatius Bonar in the hymn beginning: 

"Thy way, not mine, O Lord 
However dark it be; 
Lead me by thine own hand, 

Choose Thou the path for me. 


and ending: 

"Not mine, not mine the choice 
In things or great or small, 
Be Thou my guide, my strength, 
My wisdom, and my all." 

Another trait of Dr. Foster was his high idealism. 
He would have the best, whether in constructing a 
building, in farming, in medical equipment, or in 
his general management of the Sanitarium. He 
would have something worthy of public patronage 
and confidence. In this he has left a fine example 
for his successors. 

Another trait was his catholicity of spirit amid 
diversities and oppositions. He was always looking 
for the higher unity. He could hear tongues in trees, 
sermons in stones and see good in everything. He 
said in his Bible class one day, "Calvinism and 
Arminianism are both true." He was never happier 
than when sharing or promoting interdenomina- 
tional fellowship. He regarded all theories of med- 
icine, all systems of therapeutics, allopathy, homeo- 
pathy, hydro-therapy, mental therapy, and the 
prayer of faith as belonging to one great healing 
family. His searching for higher unities came from 
his profoundly analytic cast of mind. 

As I attempt to measure his work and influence, 
I recall St. Luke's introductory words to the Acts 
of the Apostles: "The former treatise have I made, 
O, Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and to 
teach." The former treatise (St. Luke's Gospel) 
embraced the earthly life of Jesus and terminated 


with his ascension; the latter treatise, the Acts of 
the Apostles, covered what Jesus continued to do 
through His representatives, the Holy Spirit, and 
the Church. Dr. Foster's work lives and grows 
through his representatives:- the Board of Trustees 
and the local management. He laid the foundation 
and others are to build thereupon — happy if the 
superstructure shall not be wood, hay and stubble, 
but gold, silver and precious stones. 

In the Deed of Trust is a very careful safeguard- 
ing for the future of the spirit and aims which had 
governed him in all the years of his personal man- 
agement. Their brief summary tells the story: 

"The Board of Trustees may by a unanimous 
vote amend, alter or rescind certain provisions, but 
they can do nothing affecting the fundamental 
nature and object of the Trust." 

Dr. Foster speaks of the Trust as "the final con- 
summation of an enterprise formed in 1850 and 
closely adhered to by him." "The Chief Physician 
or Superintendent, must be one who has become 
thoroughly familiar with the details of the workings 
of Dr. Foster's plan, and he must be one who is in 
hearty sympathy with it." The work in the chapel 
"Shall be conducted, as far as possible, in harmony 
with the system, aims and spirit of the Founder, 
and observed during his life and administration." 

From 1850, when so many guests packed their 
trunks and left, until the doctor's death, there arose 
from time to time would-be reformers who wished 
to amend what the Doctor had fixed, and he knew 

"crossing the bar" i 59 

they would not cease after his death. As a safe- 
guard he provided that eight of the thirteen Trus- 
tees should be men holding high religious office, and 
whose successors presumably would be men of like 
mold and spirit. To these eight men, and to five 
others he committed for all time a great trust, 
which presumably no one would accept without 
first fully understanding it, and then deciding 
whether he thought enough of it to heartily under- 
take its tasks. 

The Trustees represent Dr. Foster. They elect 
annually the Superintendent, Treasurer and Chap- 
lain. They are to safeguard, co-ordinate and en- 
large the interests, both medical and religious. 
They stand not alone in such a trust, for other 
Trustees have like responsibilities. Those at North- 
field are to do an ever enlarging work by constant 
loyalty to the aims and principles of its founder, 
Dwight L. Moody. What shall be the final estimate 
of Dr. Henry Foster's life work will depend upon 
the care and fidelity with which the great trust be- 
queathed by him shall be administered by the 
Trustees in the decades to come. 

This volume recounts Dr. Foster's life work until 
his decease. By and by another volume should be 
written, telling what the Trustees and those under 
them have wrought. 


January 18, 1920 


John A. Lichty, M. D., of Pittsburgh, Pa. 

theme : 
"Dr. Henry Foster as a Physician" 

January 18th, 1920, John A. Lichty, M. D., an 
eminent physician of Pittsburgh, Pa., and the 
President of the Sanitarium Board of Trustees, 
delivered the "Founder's Day" address, taking as 
his theme, "Doctor Foster as a Physician." 

Dr. Lichty was for several years a member of the 
Sanitarium medical staff, and knew Dr. Foster in- 
timately. The view-point of Dr. Lichty's address 
is when Dr. Foster was about seventy years of age. 
I have requested that this address be published 
with the biography, showing a physician's view- 
point of the man, and as the reader would not be 
prepared for it until he too knew Dr. Foster's whole 
life, its appropriate place is as a supplementary 

Samuel Hawley Adams 



Founder s Day Address delivered by Dr. J. A. Lichty. 
January 18, 1920, Clifton Springs, N. Y. 

IT has been suggested that the life of Dr. Foster 
has been presented from many different aspects 
in these Founder's Day Addresses, and yet no one 
has spoken of him specifically as a Doctor of Med- 
icine. This is not altogether strange or peculiar, for 
a doctor of medicine is after all a very ordinary 
being with practically only one specific purpose in 
life: that is to relieve suffering and to prolong life. 
He may do this with little more than the usual 
success and yet may not be considered as having 
done anything extraordinary. Let him however, 
do something outside of the usual source in the 
practice of medicine and it is immediately recog- 
nized because it is unusual. 

Dr. Foster has presented in his life all the phases 
which those who have preceded me on these mem- 
orial occasions have so beautifully and faithfully 
portrayed. In fact, there are still many more phases 
to be presented for he was a many sided man. But 
among all of these his greatest side, I hold, was that 
of the physician. I undertake this delineation of 


this phase of his life with a great deal of trepidation 
therefore, for on the one hand it is the greatest sub- 
ject yet to be presented, and on the other hand there 
have preceded me scholarly men with keen analyt- 
ical ability, who have so ably responded on pre- 
vious occasions and have done such noble justice 
to the man whose memory we wish especially to 
commemorate tonight. My only apology for as- 
suming the responsibility is that for ten years of 
my early medical life I had the rare privilege and 
honor of being in close touch with Dr. Foster — first 
as a medical student and later as a physician. 
Those ten years were the concluding years of Dr 
Foster's medical career. I feel it a duty therefore, 
as well as a very great privilege to put on record 
some of my personal recollections of this great man. 
It is said when Robert Browning lived in Italy 
he made the friendship of a man who knew person- 
ally one of England's greatest poets — Percy Bysshe 
Shelley. It is recalled that Shelley was drowned 
off the coast of Leghorn and now lies buried just 
inside of the ancient walls of Rome. When Brown- 
ing learned that his friend knew Shelley he was so 
overcome with the thought that he was looking into 
the eyes of one who had actually gazed on Shelley, 
in his very habit as he lived, that he expressed his 
emotions in these lines: 

"Ah, did you once see Shelley plain 

And did he stop to speak to you, 

And did you speak tc him again? 

How strange it seems and new." 

{Taken from address on Lord Lister by Sir St. Clair Thompson, M.D.) 


In the last analysis it must be concluded by those 
who knew Dr. Foster best and who have learned 
of his life later, that his real purpose was to be of 
service to those who were sick and suffering. He 
placed the largest interpretation upon the words 
"sick and suffering". It was physical, mental and 
spiritual sickness — singly or collectively — he always 
had in mind. He evidently concluded that in the 
capacity of a physician he would most likely ac- 
complish his purpose. 

What was the preparation therefore which he 
gave himself — what was his method of operation 
in his chosen field, and what factors made him dis- 
tinctively greater than the ordinary physician? Of 
his preparation much has already been said in ad- 
dresses and biographies. It is known how he came 
from the rugged hills of Vermont, and how he 
struggled for an education. His attendance at the 
normal school in southern Ohio, and his final en- 
trance at the School of Medicine of the Western 
Reserve University, Cleveland, have frequently 
been mentioned. He graduated from this school 
in 1848 after having satisfied the usual requirements 
of that time. In these respects and up to this time 
he was not different from other young men of his 
time, at least in so far as can be seen from the sur- 
face. It was when he began to apply the principles 
of medicine as taught him by his preceptors and 
professors of that time, to the ordinary problems 
which arose in the course of a general practice, that 



the first glimmer of an unusual man appeared. In 
order to recognize and appreciate this fully one 
must be acquainted with the status of medical 
thought and teaching of the time when Dr. Foster 
entered the profession. It was the middle of the 
past century, and medicine has made remarkable 
strides in the past seventy years — strides which 
were not dreamed of at that time and which we do 
not even now fully understand or comprehend. 

It is well known that in order to estimate 
a man of any time, the standard of that cal- 
culation must be the recognized standard of the 
age in which he lived. And also that often the 
marking of an unusual man in any age or generation 
depends upon the magnitude o c the problems 
which arose in that age or generation. It was not 
a mere accident, or altogether a coincidence that 
Pasteur, who discovered cell life, and Lister, who, 
on the principles of cell life discovered antiseptic 
surgery, and Koch, who on the same principles dis- 
covered the bacteriological origin of disease, lived 
and did their monumental works together in the 
latter part of the last century. It was because there 
was a great problem at that time which was com- 
pelling an answer. Explanations of the manifesta- 
taions of diseases, their origin and treatment, had 
come to a point where there was no longer any sat- 
isfaction, and something had to be done to satisfy 
the human mind. There arose, therefore, the three 
great men to whose names reference has been made. 


In the same way it was no mere coincidence or 
happening that about 1850 there came to this now 
beautiful spot, which was then a dismal swamp, a 
young man with small capital but with a large 
determination to complete the object he had in 
mind. It was a protest to the then existing condi- 
tions in medicine. This protest was as plain to Dr. 
Foster as the memorable theses which Martin 
Luther nailed against the door of the church at 
Wittemberg, were to him. 

What were the conditions in medicine in the 
middle of the last century which so impressed Dr. 
Foster, and led him away from the usual beaten 
path? To answer this question it will be necessary 
for us to review briefly the development of med- 
icine, at least such as it appeared in the nineteenth 

It is as true now as it was in 1850, and as it 
was in the time of Augustus Caesar, when the 
Roman physician Celsus remarked that "The dom- 
inant view of the nature of disease controls its treat- 
ment." For many centuries disease was supposed 
to be the direct outcome of sin, and all that was re- 
quired as a cure was a proper saint for each individ- 
ual disease. This led to a multiplication of saints, 
which can scarcely be appreciated in our time, were 
it not for the peculiar survival of the popular 
shrines as Ste. Anne de Beaupre, in the Province of 
Quebec, or the shrines at Lourdes in the southern 
part of France. After the saints and the shrines 
of those early centuries came the age of medical 


hypothesis. "From Hippocrates to Hunter the 
treatment of disease was one long traffic in hypo- 
thesis." (Osier) These were largely applied in the 
explanation of the action of the four humors in re- 
lation to disease. The sepeccant humors were re- 
moved by bleeding, sweating, purging and other 
mechanical means, up to and including the early 
part of the nineteenth century. At that time there 
was very little change from the three or four pre- 
vious centuries, except that our grandfathers were, 
if possible, more ardent believers in the lancet and 
blood-letting. As late as 1815, just a century ago, 
in our own country, bleeding for most any and all 
diseases was practiced. In fact, there was a certain 
group of physicians in the city of Philadelphia, 
among whom were such noted men as Benjamin 
Rush, Gerhardt, Mitchell and others, who were 
estimated as to their skill and popularity by the 
amount of human gore which could be accounted 
for in their back yards. This standard prevailed 
equally in other medical centers. 

It is true that very soon after that time our idea 
of disease changed. The first evidence of this was 
the acceptance and the teaching of the cellular 
pathology of Virchow in the middle of the last 
century. This is the very decade in which our Dr. 
Foster appeared upon the threshold of his career. 
But he was filled with the teaching of the methods 
of the earlier days. The theory of the four humors 
was still the basis of the therapeutics as taught at 
that time. The study of the cellular pathology was 


simply a mental and laboratory exercise. It was 
considered as interesting, but of very little practical 
value in the treatment of disease. In fact the path- 
ology of Virchow which demonstrated so plainly 
and so surprisingly the effect of disease upon living 
tissue, led at first to therapeutic nihilism rather 
than to the discovery of newer remedies. It took 
away all the old treatment based on the theory of 
the four humors — the bleeding, purging and sweat- 
ing of the early centuries, and it left nothing in its 

Anyone who knew Dr. Foster with his practical 
ideas and his human sympathies would know that 
he could not submit long to such restrictions and 
circumstances. He therefore looked about for 
methods and means and soon allied himself with 
a method of treatment which seemed more rational 
and gave greater promise. That method was the 
"Water Cure" as it was called at that time. Dr. 
Foster no doubt was acquainted with the writings 
of Priessnitz, who about 1828 began to herald the 
virtues of water as a therapeutic agent. Vincent 
Priessnitz was a mere peasant of Graefenberg, in 
Austrian Silesia. He had sufficient intelligence 
and his observations were sufficiently keen, to have 
appreciated that the therapeutics of that time were 
far from being satisfactory. He also knew that the 
large and drastic doses of drugs, the virtues of 
which were not known, given for all diseases — acute 
or chronic — the character of which was even less 
known, were doing more harm than good. The 


writings of Priessnitz, on account of conditions 
just mentioned, received unusual attention, and in 
a few decades water cures for the successful carrying 
out of the principles of hydrotherapy were estab- 
lished all over Europe. 

In 1842 the first water cure was established in 
this country, and the New Graefenberg Water Cure 
near Utica, N. Y., to which Dr. Foster was called 
as House Physician in 1848, was no doubt one of the 
earliest of these institutions in this country. It is 
not unlikely that the name "New Graefenberg" 
was taken from the old Silesian Graefenberg where 
Priessnitz first advocated and demonstrated his 

The water cure system appealed greatly to Dr. 
Foster's intelligence and imagination during these 
unsettled times in the history of medicine, when 
not only hydrotherapy but other therapeutic isms 
or pathies, were proposed to replace the therapeutic 
nihilism which then prevailed. Among these other 
pathies most notably was Homeopathy. This sys- 
tem of medicine was founded upon theories for- 
mulated in the latter part of the eighteenth century, 
and applied by Hahnemann, who in 1810 published 
his book on rational therapeutics (Organan der 
Rationellen Heilkinde). The extreme popularity 
of Hahnemann's doctrine was probably due to the 
fact that they lessened the scale of the dosage of 
drugs in practice, a thing much to be desired at 
that time, but which has been brought about since 


more effectually by a more rational understanding 
of the pathology and physiological manifestations 
of disease. The greatest evidence of the popularity 
of Hahnemann and his movement is the fact that 
he came up from the little town of Meissen, Ger- 
many, where he was born in 1755, to the metro- 
politan city of Paris, and died a millionaire in 
1843. But the hunger which Dr. Foster had for 
a more practical therapeutic was such that any 
morsel was seized upon with apparent greed and 
not always with the wisest scrutiny. He was a 
pragmatist to the extreme. He made use of any 
good there was in Hydrotherapy, and also of what 
good he could cull from the husks of Homeopathy, 
but he was not satisfied with this. Herein lies 
probably the greatest event in his life. In his work 
at the Graefenberg Institution he was profoundly 
impressed with the effect of mind over matter. The 
relation of the mind or the spirit to disease, he con- 
cluded, was a subject of prime importance. We 
have every reason to believe that this was not a 
popular opinion with his board of trustees, or with 
those with whom he was directly associated. And 
also that this led to his seeking for a new place 
where he could establish his practice and work out 
his ideas unmolested. He came to Clifton Springs 
in 1849, and as I said before, he came with a protest 
and also with a purpose. He protested against the 
existing therapeutics — the empiricism on one hand 
and the therapeutic nihilism on the other hand. 
He insisted that there were measures and means, 


absolutely rational and ethical, which had been 
heretofore neglected, but which were nevertheless 
powerful remedies in overcoming disease. 

While the measures and means he had in mind 
were to be found largely in the principles of hydro- 
therapy and in his smattering ideas of Homeopathy, 
his highest thought was in relation to the effect of 
the mind over the body in disease. His purpose 
therefore was to found an institution where these 
ideas could be put into operation. It required a 
bold man to do this at that time. We can scarcely 
appreciate it in our day; and Dr. Foster was a bold 
man to undertake the project, but he was prudent. 
However, this prudence never tapered off into 
cowardice. He said very little, wrote less — as is 
shown in medical literature. He worked, and this 
institution with its influences encircling the globe 
is the result. He was trusted, admired and beloved 
by his patients. It was soon learned by anyone 
who met him that he was more than a man, more 
than a physician — he was a presence. 

It would be very easy and delightful to go on 
dilating upon these higher qualities of Dr. Foster 
as a man and as a physician, but I would rather 
speak of the things he did in a medical way, which 
set him apart as worthy of special consideration. 
I shall therefore now review his strictly medical 

First of all when Dr. Foster came here he began 
putting up a building suitable for carrying out his 
work. He was always doing this — always building 


— never satisfied, except probably once, when this 
building in which we are assembled tonight was 
completed. Upon that occasion he said to his 
friend, Mr. John Anderson, now a member of the 
Board of Trustees, "At last I have the building for 
which I longed : fire proof. You could not burn it 
down if you attempted it. I can now go to bed and 
sleep comfortably, for I know all are safe." If Dr. 
Foster were here today we may feel sure he would 
still be adding to and improving the plant. I can 
well recall seeing him climbing up and going down 
the ladders, from floor to floor, when the work was 
going on in this building. Scarcely a beam was 
hung or a stone placed without his knowledge. He 
was a man of detail. The object of his building of 
course, was always for the comfort of his "guests" 
as he spoke of them, because he looked upon each 
patient as a guest — almost as an invited guest and 
as a member of his family. 

And next the purpose of the buildings was for the 
housing of the various departments which he had 
in mind. He first established a hydrotherapeutic 
department. No difference how small or how 
elaborate a building he put up it was always ar- 
ranged about the bath department. He never 
ceased to promote this department. Baths of all 
kinds: application of water in all forms and for all 
conditions seemed to be his ambition. With the 
hydrotherapeutic department he built upthedepart- 
ments of electrotherapeutics and mechanotherapeu- 
tics. He had his ideas about physical exercise in rela- 


tion to curing disease, and all of these ideas he carried 
out in these several departments without much ado. 
It was simply, as he so frequently said, following a 
natural law in the healing of disease. I recall in the 
early nineties the popularity of a certain suspension 
apparatus for correcting spinal deformities and for 
relieving spinal pain. Dr. Foster had one of these 
complex apparatuses installed as soon as he heard 
of it, and had some ideas of its application. This 
was probably the first glimmer of orthopedics in 
relation to general disease, but the glimmer was 
here at this place, and now has grown into a full 
path of light which has illuminated many obscure 
conditions and diseases. 

In the early part of the nineties the Roentgen 
Rays were discovered. Mrs. Lichty and I happened 
to be in Berlin the winter of 1895-96, when this 
discovery was first popularized, and when it was 
intimated that these rays might have diagnostic 
and therapeutic value. On our return from Europe 
I told the Doctor of the X-rays. He said at once 
he must have an apparatus if it was available. A 
year or so later, after considerable effort, a small 
plant was installed in this institution. It was one 
of the first in this country. He was always looking 
for something new — something that might be 
applied for the relief of those suffering. 

One instance which brings out his versatility 
with the greatest emphasis is that relating to the 
compressed air treatment for the nervous system. 
Clifton Springs, after Dr. Foster arrived here, soon 


gained a wide reputation as a health resort. A rival 
company therefore, evidently more eager to make 
a financial success than to relieve suffering, was 
organized to establish a compressed air cure. They 
located this practically at the front door of Dr. 
Foster's sanitarium. They erected a pretentious 
building on the east hill, near the present location 
of the Baptist Church. It was intended to divert 
a large part of Dr. Foster's clientele to the air cure. 
This did not seem to disturb the Doctor's peace of 
mind at all in spite of the anxieties of his friends 
and counselors. In a few years adversity came to 
the compressed air cure establishment; the com- 
pany was dissolved, and from the wreck of the 
building Dr. Foster recovered a compressed air 
apparatus, and for a small sum, it is understood, 
it was installed in the sanitarium, where whatever 
virtues it held were available to the suffering 
patients. He was not only a pragmatist, but he 
was an optimist and an opportunist. 

When laboratory study and investigation came 
to the practical help of clinical medicine Dr. Foster 
very soon comprehended its advantages, and began 
the establishment of a laboratory for the study and 
diagnosis of disease. All of these departments had 
a small and occasionally a discouraging beginning, 
but the Doctor always persisted. The extensive 
laboratories now housed in this institution have 
grown extensively as the result of his comprehen- 
sive vision. 


The last department which Dr. Foster added just 
at the close of his life was surgery. I have always 
been glad that he undertook this before he passed 
from us, because it was another evidence of the 
rounded out man. He was impressed with the 
necessity of a surgical department in order to have 
a complete organization. It was not altogether to 
his taste and makeup, but he felt it must come, and 
he set about to organize such a department. It 
was probably the most difficult of his undertakings, 
but he always succeeded when he was once defin- 
itely convinced of the necessity of doing a thing. 
This occupied very little floor space, but has grown 
to such proportions that it has become difficult to 
house it. 

The department which I probably should have 
mentioned is that of psychotherapy. This was pur- 
posely retained for the last, for it pervaded the 
whole institution. I am sure the Doctor considered 
it before any of the other departments which he 
established. He was a firm believer in the effect of 
mind over matter — over disease. He could not con- 
ceive, however, that the mind could be in the proper 
attitude towards disease unless it manifested a 
definitely religious tendency. To him religion was 
more than a confession of mere faith; it was the 
evidence of readiness and eagerness for service. It 
was a definitely concrete proposition. It was for 
this reason that the chapel figured so largely in his 
work. It was here that he learned the real purpose 
in the lives of those who applied to him for healing 


and relief. The more definite and the more whole- 
some the aim in one's life the more the Doctor be- 
came interested in the recovery. This was the great 
lever in his work. He placed no more reliance in 
mental therapeutics in that day than is done today. 
The credit which comes to him is that he recognized 
the efficacy of mental therapeutics earlier than his 
associates, and he was more reasonable and logical 
in his applications. Whatever good there is in 
Christian Science, in the Emmanuel Movement, 
and in modern faith healing he brought to bear in 
his therapeutics long before these movements were 
born. But he gave it its proper place in the general 
therapeutics. He was well balanced, and the man 
who may have found fault with him because he 
appeared too radical in one way or the other was 
usually a small being who could not comprehend 
the great man with his many parts. Strange to say, 
this was particularly true of his professional 
brethren. With the medical profession in general 
his methods were sometimes considered irregular 
and unethical. This did not disturb him in the 
least, and one of the great causes of satisfaction to- 
day for those who stood by him in those stormy 
days is that his methods have prevailed, have stood 
the test, and the men who are now laboring in this 
place are no longer held in question, but are looked 
upon as leaders in their profession The men who 
were his detractors at that time are now his fol- 


A great deal is being said in these days in medical 
organizations about group work, team work, etc. 
It has been found that the subject of medicine is 
too large to be comprehended in detail by the in- 
dividual physician, and that it is better in the study 
of a case that a group of men, specialists more or 
less in their line, should come together and thus be 
helpful to each other in solving the many intricate 
problems which arise. This is today accepted by 
everyone, professional and laymen. There are 
many noted isolated clinics throughout the world 
which are doing great and worthy work. It is 
nothing new in this place — it was a method adopted 
from the very organization of this institution, and 
Dr. Foster is responsible for it. He always had 
grouped about him men who, he thought, would 
make his work more efficient. And he always en- 
couraged his associates and assistants to advance 
their knowledge. He never refused one the time to 
do post graduate work, and he was always desirous 
of knowing what the latest ideas in medicine were, 
and whether they were of practical use and could 
be utilized to the advantage of his institution. His 
great pleasure seemed to be to take a young man 
and conduct his preparations for the practice of 
medicine, and then watch his development; throw- 
ing opportunities before him as he saw he was capa- 
ble of handling them. By keeping in contact with 
young men in this way he kept himself well in- 
formed on the most recent medicine. 


One might say of him as a physician that he was 
well grounded in the medicine of his time; he pos- 
sessed almost uncanny intuition and he almost in- 
variably exhibited the best of judgment. Because 
of these qualities and on account of his keeping in 
touch with the progress of medical science he was 
always a valuable medical counselor and a ready 

Dr. Foster is certainly a worthy example, not 
only in the method of his work but also in his 
method of recreation. He soon found that he could 
do a year's work in nine months, but not in twelve 
months, for the other three months must necessarily 
be devoted to recreation. This recreation, however, 
was admirably planned and carried out in his well 
arranged and comfortable Florida home among 
the orange groves. It was not lost time as vacations 
so frequently are, for while he was resting he was 
not only preparing himself for greater service, but 
he was continually serving. 

And finally the most inspiring idea in his whole 
medical career was that of perpetuating his work. 
He wished a place well equipped, sufficiently en- 
dowed, where any one who had a worthy purpose 
and was overcome by fatigue or disease, in accom- 
plishing that purpose could come and have rest, 
relief and cure. He was careful therefore to see 
that the work which he had begun should go on. 
How well he planned this can be seen in the deed 
of trust which he left to us. How well this is being 


carried out we must leave to others to judge. Those 
who are engaged in carrying it on however, can 
have the great satisfaction of knowing that they 
are helping to develop the plans of a man who was 
a great physician and who walked close by the side 
of Him who was altogether the greatest physician 
that ever walked this earth.